Rare sight: Parade of five planets on June 24

There has not been such a spectacle for 18 years – a rare alignment of five planets can be observed on June 24th.

According to science focus, for the first time in 18 years, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will consistently align in one line. The Parade of the Five Planets will take place on June 24 at 4:10 am. With a telescope or binoculars, it will be possible to observe how Uranus will take place between Venus and the Moon. But not for long, over the next few months, the planets will disperse again and the line will break.

The five bright planets will be visible to the naked eye, and interestingly enough for stargazers, they will appear in the same order as they appear in their orbits around the Sun. The best time to watch the planetary alignment will be between 3:39 AM and sunrise at 4:43 AM on June 24, 2022.

The last time such a rare event was observed was in 2004, and the next one can only be seen in 2040. What is most remarkable about this planetary alignment is the brightness of the phenomenon. If the weather is clear, the phenomenon can be observed even from cities, focusing on viewing without any obstruction of the eastern and southern horizons.

The smaller crescent of the Moon will indicate the relative position of the Earth between Venus and Mars from June 23 to 25. As early as June 26, the Moon will begin to move closer to the horizon, moving backwards in planetary order – past Venus, then Mercury – before slipping below the horizon to the left of the planets.

Saturn will be the first planet to rise above the horizon around midnight. Saturn’s rings provide its brightness and help the planet to be seen with the naked eye. Jupiter will appear next around 1:07. It will be in the constellation Pisces and will shine twice as brightly as Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. The third will be Mars, which around 1:37 will “company” Jupiter in the constellation of Pisces.

The penultimate and brightest in the lineup under construction will be Venus, which at 3:03 am will take its place in the constellation of Taurus. And finally, at 3:39, Mercury will appear – the fifth and last planet in this unique parade. It will join Venus in Taurus and stay close to the horizon until sunrise at 4:43 AM obscures all the planets – the “party” is over.

It’s not unusual to see two or three planets in the night sky, but this kind of planetary alignment is quite rare. Due to the orientation and inclination of their orbits, the eight major planets of the solar system will never be able to align perfectly. The last time they even appeared in the same part of the sky was over 1,000 years ago, in AD 949, and they won’t be able to do it again until May 6, 2492. Every half century or so, the brightest planets move into position in the night sky, giving the impression that they are in a more or less straight line.

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