06 May 2011
Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury in Conjunction
Four of the five most-visible planets are bunched together in the morning sky, creating beautiful patterns along the eastern horizon at dawn for the next few weeks. Each day the four planets change slightly in position, with bright Venus guiding your eyes to the right spot on the horizon where you can see these four points of light. Use binoculars to find all four planets - Mercury and Mars are much fainter than Jupiter and Venus - and use this amazing animation on the Sky & Telescope website to find the exact pattern as it changes each day. In San Francisco, you will want to look for this between 5:00 and 5:30 am, before the glare of the sunrise washes out the view of the planets.