Skywatchers take note, you’ll get a rare chance to catch five of the solar system’s brightest planets tonight… so long as you’re willing to stay up late.
According to Bruce McClure with Skytracking website EarthSky, amateur astronomers will be able to spot Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury tonight at various points as they migrate across the night sky.
Venus and Mars, the two “evening planets,” will be the first visible planets in the procession, as soon as darkness falls.
Venus, appearing as an extremely bright star, should be visible first in the western sky, followed by Mars after dusk appearing to hover slightly above it.
As they rotate out of view westward, Jupiter will rise from the east in the midle of the night, and should be high in the sky close to dawn.
Then, closer to sunrise, “morning planets” Mercury and Saturn will be visible in the eastern sky.
McClure writes that Mercury will be the trickiest of the planets to see, but can be spotted close to the rising moon just before sunrise.
Of course, as always in Vancouver, stargazers will be at the mercy of local weather.
Environment Canada forecasts a partly cloudy sky tonight with a 30% chance of showers, meaning you may have to count on luck if you want to see them all.