Seeing just one planet in the sky is always an exciting moment — but what about seeing five of them at once? (Earth not included.) Well this month, you’ll be able to.
When are the planets aligning? Keep reading for the details on the exciting celestial event.
When are the planets aligning? Here’s how to see this event:
Throughout the month of June 2022, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will all appear in alignment in the sky to those on planet Earth. Earth-dwellers will be able to see those five planets appearing in order, just by looking up — no telescope or special glasses required.
As per Sky & Telescope magazine, one of the best views of this event occurred on June 3 and 4; but now, as the month goes on, you’ll be able to nab the most stellar view of this event on Friday, June 24, 2022, just before sunrise. The conjunction will be easily viewable for about an hour, and The Hill notes that you should look in the sky toward the southeast, where you’ll see the five planets lined up.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you know that sunrise is earlier than ever this time of year, with the summer solstice and longest day of the year falling on June 21. So prepare to set your alarm early.
But if you oversleep on June 24, have no fear — you’ll still be able to view this event just before sunrise on any day from now through the end of the month, though it may be a bit less vibrant, according to The Hill.
And if you catch this event on June 23, June 24, or June 25, you’ll be able to see the moon in between Venus and Mars, essentially standing in for Earth in the typical planetary lineup, according to BBC Science Focus.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all located millions of miles away from one another — but they will seem appear as close together in the sky during this conjunction, as per Space.com.
The 2022 planetary alignment is a rare astronomical event.
This alignment is a rare event — the last time we could see them all in this order was back in 2004, according to Sky & Telescope. And although the solar system’s eight planets are often depicted in alignment in illustrations and models, the truth is, they can never actually perfectly come into alignment. That’s due to the orientation and tilt of the planets’ orbits, as explained by BBC Science Focus.
In December 2020, numerous stargazers headed outside to watch the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, in which it appeared that the two planets were closely passing each other in the sky. This was the first great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn that was viewable from Earth in 800 years — so we’re pretty lucky that the two major planets will be part of this June 2022 celestial event, appearing close to each other in the sky once again.
So set those alarms and get those cameras ready!