June will include a rare “planet parade,” this month as five planets line up in the dawn sky. Even more, they’ll be in their proper order from the sun.
The view of all five naked-eye planets will greet early risers throughout the month, Sky & Telescope reported, and while seeing two or three planets close together – something known as a conjunction – is a rather common occurrence, seeing five is somewhat more rare . Making this month’s lineup even more spectacular is the planets will be arranged in their natural order from the sun.
“Throughout the month of June, shortly before the sun rises, viewers could see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn — in that order — stretching across the sky from low in the east to higher in the south,” Sky & Telescope said . “Mercury will be tougher to spot: Early in the month, viewers will need an unobstructed eastern horizon as well as binoculars to potentially see the little world.
“As the month wears on, Mercury climbs higher and brightens significantly, making it easier to see, and thus completing the planetary lineup.”
The last time five planets visible to the naked eye were strong across the horizon in order was in December 2004.
Here are Sky & Telescope’s viewing tips:
- Find a place with a clear view low toward the east to maximize your chances of catching Mercury.
- Bring binoculars.
- You’ll also need to make sure you’re in position well in time to enjoy the view of all five planets — you’ll have less than half an hour between when Mercury first appears above the horizon and when it essentially gets lost in the glare of the rising sun.