Rare alignment shows us five planets we can glimpse from Earth

Deepak Gupta June 4, 2022
Updated 2022/06/04 at 3:21 AM

From the 3rd to the 24th of June, we have several opportunities to see a rare planetary conjunction. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can all be seen without binoculars and lined up in the same order as they are in the Solar System. The conjunction will be visible before twilight for most of the month.

This is a rare alignment that allows us to understand the conjuncture of these stars in the solar system.

As explained by American Astronomical Society, the delightful view of all five planets with the naked eye will greet early risers throughout the month of June. While seeing two or three planets close together (in what is known as a conjunction) is a fairly common occurrence, seeing five is a little rarer. And what's even more remarkable about this month's schedule is that the planets are arranged in their natural order from the Sun.

Throughout the month of June, just before sunrise, viewers will be able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn – in that order – stretching across the sky. Mercury will be harder to spot: at the start of the month, viewers will need an unobstructed eastern horizon as well as binoculars to see the little world.

As the month passes, Mercury rises higher and brightens significantly, making it easier to see and thus completing the planetary schedule.

The last time the five planets were placed on the horizon in sequence was in December 2004, and they can also be seen with the naked eye. But this year, the difference between Mercury and Saturn is much smaller.

Several noteworthy dates this month

3rd to 4th of June: in these two mornings, the five planets span 91°, when the separation between Mercury and Saturn will be smaller. To catch a glimpse of the view, find a spot with a clear view towards the east to maximize your chances of catching Mercury.

Take binoculars. You'll also need to make sure you're in position just in time to enjoy the view of all five planets - you'll have less than half an hour between when Mercury first appears above the horizon and when it loses itself in the horizon, in the glow. of the rising sun.

June 24th: according to Sky & Telescope, this morning's planetary alignment is even more convincing. For starters, Mercury will be much easier to capture, making the parade of the five planets much more accessible. And you'll have about an hour to enjoy the view, from when Mercury leaps above the horizon to when the rising sun dazzles it in the sky.

But the real bonus is the waning crescent moon positioned between Venus and Mars, serving as a substitute for Earth. By this time of the month, the planets are more spread out across the sky - the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be 107°.

If it's cloudy on the note dates, you still have every morning in between to see the five naked-eye planets that adorn the southeastern horizon. Just make sure you set the alarm and wake up on time.

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