How To See 5 Planets Aligned In The Sky During June

Five planets are expected to move into a rare alignment in June, and observant watchers will be able to see it all from Earth.

For one night, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are lining up in order with the added bonus of a waning crescent moon joining the lineup.

When two or three planets line up in the night sky, it’s called a conjunction.

Events with two or even three planets are fairly common, but having five planets line up across the night sky is a fairly rare occurrence according to Sky & Telescope.

The last time five planets lined up like this was December 2004.

Wikimedia Commons

Where to look and how to see the five-planet parade

June 24 is hands down the best morning to see this planetary lineup, but it’s still possible to get a glimpse of all five planets any morning between now and then.

For starters, set your alarm for early in the morning because all five planets will only be visible just before dawn.

The window of time to see the five planets is only about 30 minutes before sunrise early in the month, and the window gradually grows to about an hour before sunrise on June 24

June 24 night sky with five planets
At dawn on June 24th, the crescent Moon joins the planetary lineup. It’s conveniently placed between Venus and Mars, serving as a proxy for Earth. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope

Get there at least an hour early to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness, and make sure you have a spot with an unobstructed view of the horizon.

That’s because Mercury is especially low in the sky – just above the horizon – to the east-northeast.

Venus is only slightly higher in the sky and more eastward.

Nearly due east and higher in the sky, the crescent moon, representing Earth, can be seen.

Mars and Jupiter are higher still in the southeastern sky, and the fifth and final planet in the lineup, Saturn, is just as high in the sky as Jupiter and due south.

Fortunately, summer weather is here for most of the US, and that makes planet spotting and stargazing more comfortable compared to colder winter nights.

Keep an eye on the forecast for a cloud-free morning, and with a little patience, lucky observers will spot Earth’s five closest planetary neighbors in the early morning sky.

Jason Meyers is a part-time meteorologist and big-time fan of looking up. You can follow him on Twitter or watch one of his entertaining and educational YouTube videos.

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.

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