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Five planets line up in the sky before dawn in June

by: Ellen Bacca, Nexstar Multimedia Cable

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Five planets will line up in the predawn sky this month to provide a dazzling astronomical scene.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all be visible to the naked eye at the same time for the first time in 18 years. To make it even more special, the planets will appear in their natural order from the sun, according to Sky and Telescope.

The five naked-eye planets line up in their order from the Sun during the month of June. On June 3 and 4, the separation between Mercury and Saturn will be at its smallest, at 91°. Mercury will be a challenge to spot earlier in the month. (Illustration of sky and telescope)

The alignment of the planets can be viewed all month, but seeing Mercury can prove to be a challenge in the early days of June. As the month progresses, the planet will get brighter as it climbs in the sky, according to the magazine, making it easier to spot.

If cloud cover cooperates, experts say the ideal night to spot the streak will be June 24. This is the day when the waning crescent moon will position itself between Venus and Mars, making it an even more breathtaking sight.

Five planets line up in the sky before dawn in June
At dawn on June 24, the crescent Moon joins the planetary alignment. It is ideally placed between Venus and Mars, serving as a terrestrial proxy. (Illustration of sky and telescope)

The best time to see the alignment will be just before dawn. It is precisely during this window that Mercury, which will be low on the horizon, will appear and disappear.

Sunrise will occur quite early in the day this month as we enter the days with the longest light of the year. The next time these five planets align in the same way won’t be until the year 2040, experts say.


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