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The morning dance of the planets

Sidewalk Astronomy in the times of COVID-19

Photo - Ann Cairns

As an inner-city dweller who loves astronomy, I have found that one can still enjoy stargazing and telescope viewings in an urban setting.

There are certainly limitations to viewing with city light pollution but there are some advantages and if we are to feed our passion in the times of COVID-19 we may have to think outside the box. I invite you to get up early in the next weeks and find a clear view to the east and above and watch the planets dance (in your garden, from a balcony, or through a window).

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are all easily visible high in the eastern sky between 5:30am and 6:30am and Mercury is surprisingly high and visible above the horizon just before dawn. The photo included with this article was taken just before 6:30am on 31 March 2020 from my Paddington veranda looking east using a Pixel phone camera in Night Sight mode. You should be able to see all four planets as described. Have a look for yourself the next clear morning!

Ann Cairns is the Sydney City Skywatchers Outreach Officer and Librarian

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