Five planets are moving to a rare alignment, which will be visible from Earth this week. Wednesday, Friday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are in line – in that order – for the first time since December 2004. On Friday, June 24th, the event was very well known to the stars.
Although it is common to see three planets merging together, it is rare to see five planets Sky & Telescope. The planets line up in a natural order from the sun, which is also significant, according to a scientific journal published by the American Astronomical Society.
The five planets known as the “naked eyes” were visible on June 3 and 4, and the sequence could be seen through a telescope – but only about half an hour before Mercury’s glare at the sun.
But on June 24th, the view will be optimal. As the distance between Mercury and Saturn increases, Mercury becomes easier to detect, so it is gradually becoming easier to see all five planets, Sky & Telescope observation editor Diana Hanniginen told CBS News via email.
Hanniginen said the morning sky on the 24th would “give a happy view” as the waning crescent moon would join the procession between Venus and Mars.
The planets should be known in the days to come before this. Sky & Telescope says June 24 is the best time to see the queue 45 minutes before sunrise. It should be visible on the eastern horizon.
Four planets with naked eyes have been lining up for the past few months. According to NASA. But in the next few months the planets Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus will spread. In September, Venus and Saturn are not visible to most viewers.
Another astronomical event will be visible in June: the M13 Global Star Cluster, a collection of tightly packed spherical stars. M13, also known as the Hercules cluster, contains thousands of stars that are thought to be about 12 billion years old – almost the age of the universe, NASA says.