How To See All 7 Planets In The Solar System Tonight

Image: NASA/Jenny Mottar

It's not every day you get to see all the planets in the solar system in the night sky. Luckily, for the next week or so, us antipodeans will get to see every single one at its best — as long as you have a bit of patience and, for two of them, a telescope.

Note: Before you say it, yes, technically there are eight planets in the solar system. If you want to see Earth, well... just look down.

Starting today, five planets in the solar system — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — will be visible to the naked eye. Venus in particular is close to its peak brightness.

You can also see Uranus and Neptune, though you'll need the help of a telescope.

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For those in Victoria, you can head down to the St Kilda foreshore, where the Astronomical Society of Victoria will have some telescopes set up.

Things get going from 5:30pm onwards. If you want to see all the planets, it's recommended you stick around, as the website explains:

In order to bag the whole set of eight, you'll need to be there for at least a couple of hours; the reason is that two of the planets set early, and one rises later.

While there doesn't appear to be a dedicated event in Sydney, you can always book a night at the Observatory, with tours starting from 8:30pm.

If you can't find a telescope, you can at least use an app to find the right spots in the sky. SkyView is a great free option (iOS and Android), though you'll probably want to shell out the $3 for the full version, which includes the locations of all planets.

Don't worry if you miss out tonight! You'll still have time. The planets should remain visible for about a week, however, come October 20-21, Venus will be too close to the sun to be spotted.

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