Thursday, April 28, 2011
Planets Party In The Morning April 28-May 1
Written by Adrian West
Set your alarm clocks for an early treat about a half an hour before sunrise on Thursday April 28 through Sunday, May 1, 2011, as there will be a planetary delight in store! Go out and with either a pair of binoculars, a small telescope, or just use your naked eyes and find an unobscured view of the Eastern horizon to see a conjunction (objects near each other in the sky) of the planets Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury, below and to the left of the thin crescent moon.
Bright Venus will be easy to spot first, then Mercury followed by Jupiter. The real challenge is to find Mars which will be very close to Jupiter. See the above diagram for help on where each object is located.
If you are unlucky on the first morning, try again the following day for a chance to see this rare planetary occurrence.
While observing this close to the Sun take care and never look at the sun directly with your eyes and never through an optical instrument, as this will permanently damage your eyesight or blind you!
Only special purpose made solar telescopes and filters are safe for viewing the sun.