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Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and the moon to line up in pre-dawn sky this week

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn won't appear this close together in the sky again for a couple of years, so you won't want to miss this.

Early risers will have a couple of chances this week to see a quartet of planets lined up in the morning sky. 

Before dawn on April 14, 15 and 16, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will appear to cluster together, along with the moon. 

In order to see this rare display, you'll need to be up at least one hour before sunrise and look towards the southeast, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

According to NASA, the moon will appear to the right of Jupiter on April 14, then below Jupiter and Saturn on April 15, and will finally appear below Mars on April 16. 

The space agency noted that the three planets won't appear this close together in the sky again until mid-2022.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This illustration from NASA/JPL-Caltech shows how Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon will line up in the early morning sky on April 15, 2020.

Facts about Jupiter

  • Jupiter's diameter 11 times bigger than Earth -- meaning you'd have to put 11 Earths side-by-side to match Jupiter's diameter.
  • Its surface gravity is nearly three times that of Earth.
  • To escape Jupiter's gravity, you'd have to travel 134,664 mph. Earth's escape velocity is 25,031 mph.
  • Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a giant storm that is larger than Earth and has been going on for hundreds of years.
  • One Jupiter year takes nearly 12 years on Earth.
  • Jupiter has 75 moons.

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Facts about Saturn

  • Saturn's diameter 9.1 times bigger than Earth's.
  • It's surface gravity is only slightly more than Earth's (34.3 feet per second squared compared to 32.041 feet per second squared).
  • Like Jupiter, it's mainly a giant ball of gas made up of hydrogen and helium.
  • One Saturn day lasts 10.7 Earth hours. Its year lasts 29 Earth years.
  • Saturn has 53 moons.
  • NASA researchers believe Saturn's signature rings may disappear in the next 100 million years.

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