5 planets to form rare alignment in the sky this weekend

5 planets to form rare alignment in the sky this weekend

In an awe-inspiring event this weekend, five planets will be visible to the naked eye in the sky, offering an opportunity for sky watchers to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

Beginning Friday and lasting through this month, the five planets will appear strung across the eastern horizon before sunrise.

For ideal viewing, sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere should head outside half an hour before sunrise to a spot with unobstructed views of the easters and northeasters horizon. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the same five planets can be seen before sunrise but stargazers there should stake out a location with unobstructed views of the eastern and northeastern horizon, instead.

The parade of planets will be aligned in order of their distance from the sun, with Mercury, closest to the star, appearing lowest on the horizon and Saturn highest in the night sky.

However, this weekend isn’t your only chance to catch this. The end of the month will also bring this rare alignment to the sky but a waning crescent moon will be joining the party between Venus and Mars, adding another celestial object to the lineup. The moon will represent the Earth’s relative position in the alignment, meaning this is where our planet will appear in the planetary order.

This rare phenomenon has not occurred since December 2004, and this year, the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be smaller, according to Sky & Telescope.

 

June 14th, will also feature June’s full moon, known as a strawberry moon. This moon is typically known as the last full Moon of spring or the first of summer.

 

Seven more moons to keep your eye out for in the remainder of 2022 are:

  • July 13: Buck moon
  • August 11: Sturgeon moon
  • September 10: Harvest moon
  • October 9: Hunter’s moon
  • November 8: Beaver moon
  • December 7: Cold moon

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