Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align this June for rare conjunction

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align this June for rare conjunction
All five naked-eye planets line up in their proper order from the Sun during the month of June. At dawn on the 24th, the crescent Moon joins the planetary lineup.
Sky & Telescope

MANILA, Philippines — Amateur astronauts are in for a treat this June as the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be seen in a rare alignment for the first time in 18 years.

Sky & Telescope magazine, headed by the American Astronomical Society, said the five naked-eye planets — meaning they can be viewed without a telescope — will be in an orderly conjunction from the Earth's point-of-view the entire month of June around thirty minutes before sunrise.

Mercury will at first be hard to spot but as June carries on the small planet climb higher and shine brighter in the pre-dawn sky.

To be able to see the alignment clearly, it is suggested to have binoculars and face a clear view of the eastern horizon. Those in the Northern Hemisphere can see the alignent from the eastern to southeastern horizon while those in the Southern Hemisphere should look from the eastern to northeastern horizon.

According to Sky & Telescope, the best day to view the five-planet alignment will be on June 24, where the conjunction can be viewed for an hour before the Sun completely shines.

Additionally on this day, the waning crescent Moon will be positioned in between Venus and Mars, acting like a substitute for the Earth in the alignment.

The last time these five planets aligned in their correct sequence was in December 2004, but this time around the distance between Mercury and Saturn is shorter. The alignment will again occur in 2040.

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