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Rare Planet Alignment to Occur Early Friday Morning

Joe Denoyer - June 20, 2022 4:22 pm

Friday morning June 24th, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will appear in order approximately 45 minutes before sunrise. Then, when the sun rises, Mercury, the dimmest of the planets, will no longer be visible due to the light from the sun.

The planets will appear in a row because they all travel on the plane of the Solar system. Although they will appear relatively close together, they will actually be millions of miles away from each other.

When celestial bodies appear close together, astronomers call it conjunction. Conjunctions of two or three planets are fairly common and occur every few years. Conjunction of five planets, however, only happens about every 20 years. The last time five planets were in alignment was 2004. It won’t happen again until 2040.

The planetary alignment will be even more special on Friday, June 24th, when the moon will line up with the planets. That morning, the moon will be between Venus and Mars, serving as a proxy earth, in the planetary line.

You won’t need a telescope or even binoculars to view the planets and moon because all will be brighter than the surrounding stars.

On June 24th, all you need to do is go outside between 5:00 am and 5:30 am, and look low in the sky to the east. The show will start about an hour before sunrise when Mercury comes into view.

 

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