Heavenly bodies 


The skies above Darwin will be the focal point for dedicated star gazers this week, as a magnificent alignment of Mars, Saturn, Mercury and the Moon takes place in the western twilight skies.

To mark this much anticipated night sky alignment, two public star gazing events have been arranged for Thursday and Friday evening.

“Skywatchers had been keenly anticipating what astronomers call a ‘close conjunction’ between Mars and Saturn when they appeared to brush past each other last week,” said Charles Darwin University Astronomer, Geoff Carr.

“Mercury’s presence is a bonus, as it is often hidden by smoke or clouds. Mercury’s timing is perfect, as it is at its highest just as the Moon joins the planetary trio”.

The two public star gazing evenings commence at 7.15pm at Sunset Park at the western end of Aralia Street Nightcliff and admission is by gold coin donation.

A powerful laser will be used to point out the planets and other interesting objects.