Five planets align
A depiction of how the five aligned planets would be visible to the naked eye from January 20 until February 20 2016Museum Victoria/Stellarium

Five planets in the solar system are set to be visible in a line for a month, from January 20 to February 20 2016. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have not been seen at the same time in this way this since 2005.

The best time to view the celestial objects in order, all at once, is just before dawn from Wednesday January 20 at around 06.50 ET (12.50 noon GMT). No telescope would be needed, and if you were to hold your arm straight down from the moon to the horizon, the five planets should follow the length of your arm, making it easy and convenient to find them.

From the horizon up, the planets seen along the line will be Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. For the best chance to see this phenomena, find a dark, flat spot with little artificial light. However, if you cannot find them straight away, do not give up. The planets are set to be visible every early morning right up until February 20.

Alan Duffy from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, told Australian Geographic that the alignment is "essentially a quirk" of the universe. "There are only a few amazing things in the night sky that can be seen without any equipment."

Experts say that Venus and Jupiter should be the easiest to spot, and although Mars should be ever-so-slightly more difficult, it would have a distinctive red glow that stands out. The most difficult planet to see would be Mercury, as it will appear very close to the horizon. The planets are expected to line up again one more time in August of this year. After that, we would not see this marvel occur again until October 2018.

If you are struggling to see the planets, you can always download a stargazing app directly to your smartphone. These can help you pinpoint the celestial show.