There is a frenzy in the stargazing community at the moment, with a rare event set to happen over the next few nights – five planets will align and will all be visible to the naked eye for the first time in almost 20 years.
Observers will see five planets of the Solar System aligned in the sky: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In fact, this will be a seven-planet alignment as Neptune and Uranus will also join the celestial show. pic.twitter.com/tzLaEb6Qlu
— Nagendra Ramala (@RamalaNagendra) June 23, 2022
If you look up to the heavens from tonight [June 24] until June 27, you will see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn come into alignment – assuming your view isn’t obscured by cloud, of course. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, the planets will be visible. Even in cities, where light pollution can obscure stars, the planets should shine through.
NOT SEEN SINCE 1864! A rare 5-planet alignment + the crescent moon will be visible an hour before sunrise for the next 3 mornings. Set your alarms for 4:30 am and look east-southeast just above the horrizon! (For Mercury, you might need binoculars.) Should be quite a show. @wews pic.twitter.com/d305M9xOZN
— The REAL Mark Johnson (@MarkJWeather) June 22, 2022
The display of the planets can be seen on the Eastern horizon. This is significant because it is the first time the planets will have been visible in order – the way we are taught them in school – for the first time in about 20 years.
The phenomenon won’t happen again until 2040, so if you miss out this time, you’ll have a very long wait until the next!
This alignment last happened in 2004, but this display will be brighter as the planets are closer this time around – although it is just a coincidence that they are.
🪐 Planets align. It’s fine. What is time? Does that even rhyme?
Look up starting tonight to see Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn spread out and appear to line up in the sky. The crescent moon joins them on June 23: https://t.co/36QwkIxfaw pic.twitter.com/uh5V9W2q45
— NASA (@NASA) June 19, 2022
In addition, Neptune and Uranus – and Pluto, for fans of ex-planets – can also be seen with the aid of a telescope, but they aren’t in the right position to be considered aligned.
So, to misquote the Netflix film, do look up over the next few nights and marvel at a rare heavenly sight.