You'll Have To Wake Up Early If You Want To See Rare 5-Planet Alignment

By Bill Galluccio

June 3, 2022

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Photo: Getty Images

During the month of June, stargazers will be given a rare treat if they are willing to wake up early enough. For the first time since 2004, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will all be visible to the naked eye in their orbital order.

The best time to view the rare alignment is about 30 minutes before sunrise. The planets will be in the east across a 91-degree arc of the predawn sky. Mercury will be the hardest to spot because it will be sitting just above the horizon.

As the month progresses, Mercury will become easier to spot as its position will slowly climb higher each night.

Sky & Telescope magazine said that the best night to view the five-planet alignment will be on June 24. In addition to the planetary alignment, the waning crescent Moon will also be positioned in between the planets.

"To begin with, Mercury will be much easier to snag, making the five-planet parade that much more accessible. And you'll have about an hour to enjoy the sight, from when Mercury pops above the horizon to when the rising Sun washes it out of the sky. But the real bonus is the waning crescent Moon positioned between Venus and Mars, serving as a proxy Earth. By this time of month, the planets are spread farther across the sky — the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be 107°," the magazine explained.

If you miss the planetary alignment this time around, you will have to wait until August 2040.

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