This photo shows four of the five planets visible to the naked eye, all lined up one on top of the other in the morning sky to create the most impressive planetary configuration in over a decade.

This is just a part of the full image, which was taken on May 5 on a beach near Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the top of the image, you can see Venus, which is the brightest of the four planets seen in this shot. Below it and to the right is its fellow inner planet Mercury, while Jupiter is right in the center in the lower third of the image. The final planet, Mars, is barely visible right at the absolute bottom of the frame. Only Saturn is missing out on this party.


This configuration started last month and will continue through to the end of May. This is the tightest and brightest configuration of visible planets this century, but you'll need to be willing to get up 45 minutes before sunrise - and live in the southern hemisphere - to see the show. For a complete guide on where the various planets are headed in their cosmic dance, check out Sky and Telescope.

Full image at NASA. Image by Luis Argerich.