5-speed listening (Planets - Level 4)

Five planets line up 'like string of pearls'






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Five planets have lined up in a space event called a conjunction. We could see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn without a telescope. The rare planetary conjunction was best before dawn, about an hour before sunrise. An astronomer said it was, "like a string of pearls spread out from close to the horizon". She was very happy at seeing Mercury, which is usually hard to see. She said: "It is very satisfying [to] see this faint twinkling planet."

This month's conjunction was special because the planets appeared in the same order they are from the sun. Saturn was the farthest away and Mercury was nearest. This conjunction is rare because the five planets all have different orbits of the sun. The next conjunction will be in August 2040. Another astronomer said the conjunction was best on Friday morning as a crescent moon joined the five planets. She called it a "delightful sight".

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