If the sky seems rather empty of planets at the moment, it is because so many are clustered close to the Sun. Amateur astronomers can rise early to catch beautiful Saturn rising late in the night.
The worlds – Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Mars – were all too close to the solar glare to be seen from Earth.
But the close grouping could be seen in single images from a solar satellite called SoHo (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) as it monitored our parent star over the weekend.
Last week, Mercury pased in front of the Sun in a rare transit which was visible from America and the Pacific region. Picture: SpaceWeather.com.