HERE is the latest Skywatch column by Stuart Atkinson.

There is good news and bad news for you this week if you're a planet-spotter.

The good news is there are LOTS of planets visible at the same time right now, all arranged in a line across the sky like beads on a bracelet.

The bad news is that that time is you're-having-a-laugh o'clock, in the wee small hours of the morning before sunrise...

To see this "parade of planets" you'll need to be up at 4am and looking to the east.

You'll need a clear, low horizon in that direction tho; all the planets are going to be so low in the sky that if you have any buildings, fells or tall trees in that direction they will hide the planets from view.

So, you'll either need to be high enough up to place the local landmarks and greenery beneath you, or somewhere low and flat, to see these faraway worlds.

Assuming you have a clear view to the east what will you see?

Well, going from left to right - that's panning from the east to the south - you'll see Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, all spaced out in a kind of planetary rainbow. Venus will be the easiest to identify because it will be the brightest - a silver spark low in the north east.

To its upper right, to the east-south-east, you'll see Mars, which will be visible to the naked eye but fainter than Venus, and to the right of Mars, shining quite high in the south east, will be Jupiter, looking like a blue-white star.

Finally, look low in the south west and you'll see Saturn shining there, also naked eye bright but not as obvious as Jupiter.

Technically all these planets will be visible with the naked eye, but the brightness of the background sky make it hard for you to pick out Mars and Saturn without some help from a pair of binoculars.