Bundy's rare chance to see three planets together

13th November 2017 2:55 PM
Jupiter, Venus and Mars will be seen together. Jupiter, Venus and Mars will be seen together. NASA/HANDOUT

LOVE watching the stars twinkle at night?

After last month's meteor shower putting on a show, astronomer David Reneke said this week you will be able to see Venus, Mars and giant Jupiter all in the same small part of the eastern morning sky together.

"They're best observed just before sunrise, until the sky starts to brighten,” he said.

"Venus and Jupiter are very close and rise within minutes of each other from about 5am. Mars is already there a little higher up.

"Search along the Milky Way with your binoculars and watch for 'fuzzy' patches. Stop and have a look, you might have found a rich star cluster or a gassy nebula.

"While you're at it look a little to the right of the Southern Cross and pan around because your view of the pre-dawn sky this week should be spectacular.”

Mr Reneke said a bonus on Friday would be a slender crescent moon joining the group at the same time to top off what will certainly be a great photo opportunity.

"Very close conjunctions are just a grand naked eye spectacle so bracket your shots, try different exposures and use a tripod. It can be very exciting to see more than one planet in the same field of view of your telescope,” he said.

"Some people claim that when the alignments of the planets occur their increased gravity wreaks havoc on Earth. It's not true, the planets' combined gravity is insignificant and the influence of the planets that are even further away is even less.”

The International Space Station is also set to be gracing local skies this week and is expected to be seen on Thursday between 6.30 and 6.40pm.

For more information on the ISS, visit https://go.nasa.gov/1QXQNik.