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When the planets align... How to spot the 5 planets visible over Jackson Hole

When the planets align... How to spot the 5 planets visible over Jackson Hole

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Starting this week, stargazers in Jackson Hole will be able to spot all five planets in the night sky for the first time in 10 years. From January 20 through February 20, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen simultaneously just before dawn. The last time we were able to see all planets visible in the sky at the same time was January 15, 2005. According to Slate's Bad Astronomy blogger Phil Plait , "If you go outside well before dawn (5:30–6 a.m. local time) and look south, you’ll see the planets lined up across the sky." In Jackson, the mountains may block Mercury most of the month. "For us, finding Mercury is going to be the toughest. It never gets very far above the horizon, and we have our mountains on the horizon blocking the view," said Mike Maurer, the secretary treasurer for the Jackson Hole Astronomy Club. "On February 2, Mercury will be 4* above the horizon at 6:42 a.m., and the sun will rise an hour later." The best local places to check out the planets on a clear night include Spring Creek Ranch, Rendezvous Park (R-Park) and Antelope Flatts Road. Read more about the best places to stargaze in Buckrail's article, "5 Best Places to Stargaze in Jackson Hole." Did you snap a great shot of the planets over Jackson Hole? Share it with us here. *Feature Photo: Northern Lights July 10th Antelope Flats. h/t Samuel Singer