An amazing and rare alignment of six planets is about to occur in the sky

Six of the solar system’s planets are about to align in a rare sight in Earth’s skies.

In the early hours of June 3 and 4, 2024, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus will appear in a straight line in an alignment known as the planetary parade. There will only be an absent Venus, and even the waning crescent of the Earth will be visible.

It is not uncommon for several planets to be in the sky at once, but it is less common for more planets to line up. Any number of planets from three to eight forms an alignment. The grouping of five or six planets is known as a major alignment, but alignments of five planets are more frequent than six.

This alignment does not represent the alignment of the planets in space as you see Charts and illustrations For the solar system. this Not something that actually happens In the real universe, unfortunately.

Illustration of planetary alignment on June 3. (Star Walk)

The alignment of the planets occurs because all the planets of the solar system orbit the Sun more or less on a flat plane called Ecliptic. Some are just above or below this level, but it’s about the same level.

This is due to the way stars, including the Sun, are formed. A small star in a cloud of material begins to rotate; The cloud surrounding them rotates to form a disk that feeds the young star. The planet forms from what’s left of the disk, and if left to its own devices, it would remain in this level.

This means that sometimes, the planets will be on the same side of the sun as they move along their orbits, so we can see them in the sky at the same time. They appear to be in a straight line because they are all on the ecliptic.

See also  Hubble reveals ancient witness to galaxy merger

This will happen in early June, about an hour before sunrise. You may need some visual AIDS. While Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be bright enough to see with the naked eye, Uranus and Neptune are very far away and faint, so if you want to take a look, you’ll need binoculars or a telescope.

We have a few more alignments of the same planets coming in the coming months, so you may want to mark your calendars accordingly: Both August 28, 2024 and January 18, 2025 will see major alignments of six planets in the pre-dawn hours.

For a truly stunning sight, hold on to your hats for complete planetary alignment. On the evening of February 28, 2025, the other seven planets will appear in the sky at the same time. This will be a very good night for planetary observers.

How to watch

The alignment will be visible from most locations around the world on June 3. The time when the planets rise and set, and in what order, depends on where in the world you are viewing from. There are tools you can access to get those times and sky locations.

Time and date It has an interactive tool that allows you to select the date you want to view, showing the rise and set times for each planet, and where they can be seen in the sky.

Stellarium It has a similar web tool that shows you the positions of all the planets.

The sky tonight It is a free mobile app that uses your phone’s hardware to measure your location, showing you the real-time locations of celestial objects on the sky map above. there A good list of other options herealso.

See also  The meteorite crater was formed in Greenland 58 million years ago

Get out of there, and go look at some sky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *