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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Planets to align over Ireland after sunset tonight

Keep an eye on the skies tonight as Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are set to align with the moon this evening.

How the planets will look in the sky this evening
How the planets will look in the sky this evening

KEEP AN EYE on the skies tonight and you may see something unusual.

Three planets – Venus, Jupiter and Mercury – are set to form a line with the moon in the skies over Ireland in a “breathtaking” planetary sight, according to Astronomy Ireland.  Viewing this alignment of planets is especially rare given how infrequently Mercury can be seen in the night skies.

“Mercury is a tricky one to see as it’s small and close to the sun,” said David Moore, the Chair of Astronomy Ireland. “This means that it often sets before it gets dark enough to see many other stars”.

“However if you look closely towards the west this evening – near where the sun has set – you may see a bright pinprick of light”.

This ‘pinprick’ is Mercury – and it’s going to be quite a while before it will be seen in the skies again.

Astronomy Ireland is encouraging people to go outside to observe the “breathtaking planetary sight” as Mercury will soon disappear from sight and won’t be visible again for several months.

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