Celestial events happen all the time, but not like this. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the moon and five planets in our solar system will be perfectly aligned this week for spectators to see with their naked eyes.
The rare planetary alignment is occurring from now through June 27, 2022, for the first time since December 2004. According to National Geographic, the planets of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be bright and visible even through light-polluted city skylines. Venus and Mercury will be the faintest, and the planets closest to us will look perfectly arranged in the night starry sky.
When stars align in the sky like this, they are called conjunctions, according to National Geographic. While two or three planets arranged like this is not uncommon, it has been nearly 20 years since we have seen conjunction with five or more planets. For the planets such as Uranus and Neptune, visual enhancement such as binoculars could be necessary. If you look between Venus and Mars, Uranus will appear saturated in a green-tinged hue. With the blue Neptune located between Jupiter and Saturn in our night sky.
Even though this event is global, according to National Graphic, some Earth’s inhabitants will have a better seat than others. People who reside in New York, London, and other Northern Latitude cities, will have Mercury placed near the horizon and possibly washed out by the sun’s rise. Also, in these areas, the other planets will hug the eastern horizon, making it difficult to see the planetary spectacle.
Do not think you lost your chance to watch this awe-inspiring celestial event. Planets such as Mercury will be easier to spot for those living in northern latitudes, as it will be higher above the horizon as the month continues. According to National Geographic. Unfortunately, if you live in areas too far north, such as Scandinavia or Alaska, you won’t see it.
The best seats in the house include places centered in the tropics or southern hemisphere, where the planets rise higher above the horizon in the predawn sky, which is the time you need to view them. Do not let this get your hopes crushed, cause according to National Geographic, in most places on Earth, you should be able to see the natural wonder. National Geographic recommends setting out to view these planets 30 mins before local sunrise time, as this is the only time to view them in this manner. You do not want to miss this event cause it won’t happen again until 2040.
Shoot For The Moon
The moon will be your guide to watching this event. According to National Geographic, this is how the rare celestial event will appear:
- June 22 The moon and Mars will meet up together.
- June 24 The moon pairs alongside Uranus, perfectly aligned between Venus and Mars.
- June 26 The moon will have a very close encounter with the brightest planet in our sky Venus.
- June 27 The moon will make its last stop on June 27, with Mercury by its side.
Telescopic Treat And A Front Row Seat
Space is vast, and according to National Geographic, while you may be able to see this alignment with the unaided eye, the best way to view them is with a set of binoculars or a telescope:
- Jupiter will have icy rings and four of its largest moons visible during this event with a telescope, making this cream-colored giant a sight to behold.
- Saturn will host its famous vast rings, which will leave you in a state of wonder.
- Uranus has a greenish-blue tinge visible with telescoping aid. Truly marvelous to see those details when the planet is 1.8 billion miles away.
- Neptune is even more impressive, with this bluish-green planet visible from nearly 2.8 billion miles from Earth.
Where To Look | Look For The Moon |
The planets will meet up near the moon’s position in the sky.
When | June 22-June 27 | Before Sunrise |
- Northern Latitude– Right above the horizon
- Southern Latitude– Higher in the night sky
Since the next planetary alignment like this isn’t happening again until 2040, if you want to see this spectacular event, there is no better time than now.
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