The ordered alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be visible to the naked eye this week and throughout early July.
It’s not out of the ordinary to see a planet or two among the stars. But starting in the early hours of June 24, you could see five planets known as “the Parade of Planets”: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all in alignment in the sky! This event will be the first time in over 18 years that the planets will be aligned in their natural order from the Sun. So set your alarm to get up extra early and grab a blanket so you can view this phenomenon because this won’t happen again until 2040.
How to Get the Best View
The best time to be able to see the planets lined up will be about 45-60 minutes before sunrise in your area. Check your phone’s Weather app to find out when sunrise will be for you. Next, lookup in the east-southeast direction. You will be able to see the planetary alignment with your naked eye — no telescope or binoculars needed! (This is all based on clear skies so if there should happen to be cloudy or foggy weather, this may not be as easy to see.) The planets should be shining more brightly than the stars making them easy to spot and due to the overall brightness, even people living in cities should be able to view the event.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Mercury may be the hardest planet to spot as it is the closest to the Sun. The light from the Sun may potentially overshadow Mercury’s brightness. As if we needed more cool things to see, there will also be a crescent moon visible between Venus and Mars — acting as a stand-in for Earth.
What If I Miss It?
Don’t worry! The Parade of Planets will be visible through the month of June and early July. But over the next few months, the planets will begin to social distance again. Be sure to grab your chance to see the alignment because Venus and Saturn won’t be visible at all by September.