See the Moon and the five 'classical' planet simultaneously

Wahiba Sands, Oman - 4 December 1997

Every now and then, it is possible to see the five naked eye planets and the moon at the same time. I experienced this during our last desert camping trip to the Wahiba Sands in the Sultanate of Oman on December 4, 1997. Just after sunset we noted the moon, and then starting at the horizon the planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn. This has been one of the most impressive astronomical phenomena I have ever witnessed.

The picture on the left show the simulated view made by the software programme Cartes du Ciel. It also shows, that if I had used a telescope I could have seen the planets Uranus and Neptune as well.

During 1979-2020 there are four occasions, each one to two weeks, that these five planets and the Moon can be seen simultaneoulsly in the evening sky.

See for more info: Jean Meeus, More Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, chapter 61.

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