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Star Tours

May 04, 2000

The five naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) plus the sun and the moon span only 26 degrees in the sky on Friday--the least separation since 1962. Unfortunately, the grouping cannot be seen because the sun is part of it (you might see Mars and the crescent moon low in the west at about 8:15 p.m.). The five planets and the sun (but not the moon) form an even more compact grouping that spans 20 degrees on May 17. Astronomers note that there will be no unusual tides or other effects on Earth arising from this alignment of the planets.

Source: John Mosley, Griffith Observatory

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