Science

A rare alignment of 5 planets will take over the sky this month. Here’s how to take a look

A rare alignment of 5 planets will take over the sky this month.  Here's how to take a look
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Be sure to look up this weekend to see the start of a rare five-planet alignment gracing the night sky. The five planets of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in planetary order this month. This rare phenomenon hasn’t happened since December 2004, and this year the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be smaller, according to Sky & Telescope. Stargazers will need to have their binoculars handy and a clear view of the eastern horizon to spot Mercury. around the beginning of the month, the space magazine said. As June progresses, Mercury will become brighter and easier to see, according to Diana Hannikainen, Sky & Telescope’s observant editor. The rest of the planets should be constantly visible to the naked eye, she added. The best time to see all five planets is 30 minutes before sunrise, she says. The night before you plan to see the lineup, check when the sun will rise in your area. Some astronomers are particularly excited about the celestial event, including Hannikainen. She flew from her home west of Boston to a beach town along the Atlantic Ocean to ensure an optimal view of the lineup. “I’ll be out there with my binoculars, looking east and southeast and crossing all my fingers and toes that it’s going to be clear,” Hannikainen said. You don’t need to travel to catch a glimpse of the action as it will be viewable by people all over the world. Astronomers in the northern hemisphere can view planets from the east to southeast horizon while those in the southern hemisphere should look along the east-northeast horizon. The only requirement is a clear sky in the direction of the alignment. If you wake up and the weather blocks the sky, don’t worry, Hannikainen said. morning, get out and enjoy that view,” she said. The Moon Joins the Party In addition to the five planets, the waning crescent moon will also align between Venus and Mars on June 24. this special celestial alignment can be viewed in the hour before sunrise, Hannikainen said. The next day, the moon will have continued its orbit around Earth, knocking it out of alignment with the planets, she said. If you miss the five-alignment of planets in sequential order, the next one will be in 2040, according to Sky & Telescope.

Be sure to look up this weekend to see the start of a rare five-planet alignment gracing the night sky.

The five planets of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up in planetary order this month.

This rare phenomenon has not occurred since December 2004, and this year the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be smaller, according to Sky & Telescope.

Astronomers will need to have their binoculars handy as well as a clear view of the eastern horizon to spot Mercury later this month, the space magazine said. As June progresses, Mercury will become brighter and easier to see, according to Diana Hannikainen, Sky & Telescope’s observant editor.

The rest of the planets should be constantly visible to the naked eye, she added.

The best time to see the five planets is 30 minutes before sunrise, she said. The day before you schedule the roster viewing, check when the sun will rise in your region.

Some astronomers are particularly excited about the celestial event, including Hannikainen. She flew from her home west of Boston to a beach town along the Atlantic Ocean to ensure an optimal view of the lineup.

“I’ll be out there with my binoculars, looking east and southeast and crossing all my fingers and toes so it’s all clear,” Hannikainen said.

You don’t need to move to catch a glimpse of the action, as it will be visible to people all over the world.

Astronomers in the northern hemisphere can view planets from the east to southeast horizon, while those in the southern hemisphere should look along the east-northeast horizon. The only requirement is a clear sky in the direction of the alignment.

If you wake up and the weather blocks the sky, don’t worry, Hannikainen said.

“Keep watching throughout June and as soon as you have a clear morning, get out there and enjoy that view,” she said.

The moon joins the party

In addition to the five planets, the waning crescent moon will also align between Venus and Mars on June 24.

Unlike the days before it, this special celestial alignment can be seen within an hour of sunrise, Hannikainen said.

The next day, the moon will have continued its orbit around the Earth, misaligning it with the planets, she said.

If you miss the alignment of the five planets in sequential order, the next one will be in 2040, according to Sky & Telescope.

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