Tonight and for a few weeks, the planets will all line up in a neat little row! Jack Horkheimer, aka the Star Hustler and now called the Star Gazer, has this advice for folks who like to look up!
Did you know the “Star Hustler” has changed the name of his show and now he is known as the “Star Gazer?” In the last edition of the show with the old name, Jack Horkheimer, host of the blockbuster public television program admits that the word Hustler…has changed in meaning over the years.” The show has been a popular late-night endcap to public television daily programming and is a service of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium.
What’s the Star Gazer’s advice for the week? This week eight planets line up in a way that won’t be visible again from Earth for 100 years! “There are five bright planets and two visible with binoculars all lined up like pearls on a string,” said Horkheimer. “It’s quite beautiful, an exquisite grouping of the moon and planets.”
In the array, appearing after dusk through Dec. 8, the planets will be lined up from west to east, beginning with Pluto and followed by Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter and Saturn, with a crescent moon alongside. Pluto appears north of Mercury and will only be visible by telescope and a good pair of binoculars will be needed to see Uranus and Neptune, off to the southwest below Jupiter. Although a similar display will occur in May 2000, then the planets will be so close to the Sun that they won’t be visible from Earth.
If you live in a big city, don’t worry! Jack says the five brightest planets should be visible on clear nights even from urban areas.