Rare Planetary Alignment Seen over Australia

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For the first time in over a hundred years, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars have aligned in our sky. Let's head to Australia where some of the best views can be seen.

A rare celestial event was seen over Sydney, Australia on Thursday and Friday.

Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter were aligned together in a pre-dawn spectacle that only occurs every 50 to 100 years.

[Geoff Wyatt, Sydney Observatory Senior Astronomy Educator]:
"It is unusual. The last time we had these four planets together was in 1910, but they were too close to the sun to be seen with any detail."

Sky-watchers gathered on Friday outside the Sydney Observatory to witness the four planets coming together within a few degrees of each other.

While it can be seen with the naked eye, a telescope or binoculars are recommended.

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury formed a small triangle, with Mars slightly harder to see.

The astronomical event will continue throughout the month of May, with the planets changing their positions from day to day, forming various interesting patterns in a planetary dance.

Viewers in the northern hemisphere need a clear view to the east horizon to see it in the pre-dawn sky.

The best views will be in the southern hemisphere where the planets are positioned much higher in the sky.