Four bright planets cluster in predawn sky Wednesday
A crescent moon and Venus, right, are seen at dawn over the Kennedy Space Center on May 1.
May 10th, 2011
10:54 PM ET

Four bright planets cluster in predawn sky Wednesday

As if you needed another reason to get up before sunrise, four bright planets will cluster in the predawn sky Wednesday morning so close together they'll probably fit behind your outstretched hand (from where you stand, of course).

Throughout May, the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter will rearrange themselves on a daily basis to form different shapes in the eastern sky. The show ends with a grand finale on May 30, when a crescent moon joins the four planets.

Watch NASA illustration of the planets clustering

The best view will be about a half hour before sunrise on Wednesday, when Venus and Jupiter will be so bright "you might think you've witnessed a double supernova beaming through the morning twilight," scientist Tony Curtis said on NASA's Science News site.

The whole patch will be less than 10 degrees wide. Venus and Jupiter will be only a half degree apart, Curtis said. Does the planets' alignment augur the end of the world?

"Keep an eye on Venus in particular. As the sun rises and the sky fills with morning blue, the Goddess of Love does not fade away. You can actually see Venus in broad daylight if you know where to look," he said.

Venus, the brighter of the two, will be to the right of Jupiter, the editors of StarDate magazine said last week. Mercury will be visible to the lower right of Venus, about the same distance from Venus to Jupiter. It won't be as bright but its proximity to Venus will help you find it. To the lower left of Jupiter, you'll find Mars, which may be too low and faint to see without the aid of binoculars.

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will form a bright celestial triangle in May almost equilateral in appearance. On May 20, a new triangle will appear with Mars, Venus and Mercury forming the vertices.

Did you see them? Send us your images!

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Filed under: Mars • Mercury • Space
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Ellis From Panama

    What about Uranus. Why isn't Uranus rearranging itself. Uranus must be rearranged.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Outsider

    Uranus is wonderful. I have pictures of it on my cell phone.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JJ

    Will you two stop? I'm feeling frisky.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    So May will be an excellent month for astronomy. These planets will give us a spectacular show. I sure look forward to May 30.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AbuDhabiDude

    This is proof that Obama did not kill Osama. Think about it, how is it even possible for Obama to kill Osama if he wasn't even in Pakistan? And you all believe that Obama did it? It's more likely that Obama had sent in his deputies to kill Osama.

    May 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    @Outsider: Shut up stupid.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @Outsider: I have reported your harassing of other bloggers as well as Ellis and me. Good luck.

    May 11, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chiltepin

    Always entertaining to read everyone else's posts! now...Does the stars lining up in the sky somehow that Yellowston is gonna blow up and cause a huge massive earthquake, or the other way around?

    May 11, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. tomcat

    After a respite from the blogs, I am back. Much like a moth to a flame it is hard to stay away forever. It does my heart good to see that idiotic comments and finger pointing still prevail. I will give it a go again. Hello Cesar

    May 11, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    Hello Tomcat. Great to see you back. There is a lot of hi-jacking of names. You will also see Cesar. Many are not mine. Have a great day.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rogelio

    Ha!. My name is more interesting than this article.

    May 11, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rogelio

    What if the letters in my name had mysteriously aligned to form a name that is recognizable by a group of human beings aligned in their thinking to recognize a certain alphabet formed by a lign of 26 letters.. ooh, that's cool. And it's viewable everyday!

    May 11, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Crypt

      ha, that was simple bozo breath, took 30 seconds. and wrong. the tech to encrypt is so advanced and a dimwit like you could never figure it out in a lifetime. whatever you see is so far from whatever you. hahahahaha, a scared imp...

      May 11, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. TvNYC

    May 21st 2011 seems to be a date we should be watching out for. Have a great day everybody!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |