THERE'S good news and bad news for you this week, if you're a planet spotter.

The good news is that there are four naked eye planets in the sky at the moment! The bad news? You'll have to get up before dawn to see all but one of them.

Venus is the brightest of the four, by a long way, and it can be seen blazing high and bright in the south west as soon as darkness begins to fall around 6.30pm.

It is so bright it is easy to see even from a light polluted town-centre. But, if you can see it from somewhere dark, out in the countryside or even just from a lay-by up the road, it looks stunning.

At the other end of the day, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen low in the south-east before sunrise, close together in a diagonal line that points down towards the horizon from the upper right. Highest and farthest right is orange-hued Mars, which is nowhere near as bright as Venus but is still an easy naked eye object.

To Mars' lower left lies Jupiter, much brighter and more of a blue-white color than Mars. Down to Jupiter's left, and closest to the horizon of the three, Saturn looks like a golden-white star, brighter than Mars but fainter than Jupiter.

If you had a powerful telescope you'd actually be able to see Pluto halfway between Mars and Saturn. But it is much too faint for the naked eye.