Parade of Five Planets: where and when to see a unique phenomenon
On Saturday, 17 June, a spectacular astronomical show will take place over the Earth - a parade of five planets at once. Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury will line up almost in a straight line, and you will be able to see it with the naked eye.
OBOZREVATEL tells you when the parade can be seen at its peak. And also where and how it is best to do it.
What is the parade of planets
The more correct name for the phenomenon from the point of view of astronomy is not a parade, but the alignment of the planets. At this moment, several planets visible from the Earth are on the same side of the Sun and visually located next to each other.
The most impressive are the so-called great alignments, when 5 or more planets appear in the same sector of the sky. This will be the case on 17 June. Such a conjunction lasts for several days, but its peak moment, when the celestial bodies come together to the maximum and are best visible, is the most spectacular.
When you can see the parade of planets on 17 June
According to Kyiv time, the peak of the next major alignment will occur in the hours before sunrise on Saturday, 17 June. Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury will be the brightest in the sky. To view Neptune and Uranus, you will most likely need binoculars or at least a simple telescope.
How to watch the parade of planets on 17 June
To enjoy the spectacle, about an hour before dawn, you will need to look at the eastern half of the sky. The bright object near the horizon will be Jupiter. It will be best visible. The constellation Aquarius can be a guide to finding it.
Then you should look slightly up and to the right. Saturn will be above the southeastern part of the horizon. It will also be visible to the naked eye.
Below and to the left of Jupiter is Mercury. This planet can be seen between the eastern and northeastern parts of the horizon.
To see the others, you will need to use optical instruments, because Neptune and Uranus are the farthest from the Earth and reflect very little light. It is better to observe them in places where there is no light pollution - away from streetlights and roads.
Neptune will be about halfway between Jupiter and Saturn, and Uranus will be between Jupiter and Mercury. The order of the planets from the horizon and up into the sky will be as follows: Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn.
When will you be able to see the next great parade of planets
Astronomers predict the next alignment of the five planets on 8 September 2040. Therefore, those who like to watch the starry sky are advised not to miss this phenomenon now. Fortunately, it will be possible to admire it for a few more days after 17 June. Although on other days, the celestial bodies will shine less brightly.
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