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Thursday, May 26, 2011


If you have been up before dawn and looked east (where the Sun will rise) you will have already enjoyed a remarkable spectacle - FOUR planets lined up almost vertically and fairly close together. From the top they are: JUPITER, MARS (slightly to the left and quite small), VENUS (the brightest) and MERCURY (also small but quite easy to see). Mercury is dropping quite quickly so get up early, go outside between 5 and 6 am (before that Mercury is too low and after that the pre-dawn sky is getting too bright, and look towards the eastern horizon. Binoculars will help. And on 30 May this lovely grouping will be joined by a crescent Moon too! About a week ago they were even closer but clouds blocked the view. And tell your friends to have a look at a most unusual spectacle. [This is not a hoax - promise!]

Francis Podmore

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