Stunning Images of the February Dawn Planetary Line-up from Around the World

5 Planets Alignment  The Moon 01-30-2016, 06:13am EST outside of Warrenton, Virginia. Image credit and copyright: John Chumack Canon 6D DSLR, 8mm fisheye Lens, Slightly Cropped  ISO 800, 8 second exposure,

Have you seen them? There’s been a quintet of good reasons to awaken early this past week, as the February dawn sky hosts (Timelapse by Joseph Brimacombe). What’s next for the planets in 2016? Well, Jupiter heads towards opposition on March 8th, becoming the first of the group to break form and enter the dusk sky. Mars then follows suit, reaching opposition on May 22nd, and swelling to a favorable appearance 19” arc seconds in size. Follow that Red Planet, as we’re now only one opposition away from a spectacular apparition in 2018 that will rival the historic appearance of Mars back in 2003. Will the “Super Mars hoax’ once again rear its ugly head? The optimal window to launch spacecraft to Mars is coming right up, and the European Space Agency’s Exomars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli Lander launches on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 14th. Unfortunately, NASA’s InSight lander won’t make the trip this time ’round, opting instead to make the journey in 2018.And finally, keep an eye on Mercury, as it transits the Sun just one-half orbit from now on May 9th. And hey, we’re only three weeks away from the start of the first eclipse season of 2016, with the year’s only total solar eclipse of 2016 gracing southeast Asia.Finally, we’re currently globe-trotting, but we managed to grab a very modest image of Venus and the waning crescent Moon with our Android phone during an early morning jog in Chiefland, Florida:

Quick smartphone capture of the Moon and Venus on this AM’s jog in Chiefland, #Florida -A photo posted by David Dickinson (@astro_guyz) on Feb 6, 2016 at 5:06am PST

Keep an eye on all the 2016 planetary action, —> Read More