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Rare 5-planet alignment
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boehm Offline
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Rare 5-planet alignment
Hello world!

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are putting on an epic predawn sky show right now.

A rare parade of planets is coming into better view in the second half of June, and even the moon will join the The current early-evening sky is completely devoid of any of the five bright planets you can see with the naked eye (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). You have to wait until the second half of the night to see any of them, and then they will slowly come into view, one by one, and just before sunrise, all five will be stretched out across the southern and eastern sky.

Certainly, it is not unusual to see two or three bright planets in a single glance, but to have five in view simultaneously is something quite special. This week's alignment will be quite "tight," with the five worlds appearing to stretch across an arc only about halfway across the sky from east-northeast to almost due south roughly about a half hour before sunrise.

Adding to this remarkable planet array is Earth's moon, which will pass through the general vicinity of all five planets in the coming days, making identifying a particular planet on a given morning much easier. On Saturday (June 18), for instance, a waning gibbous moon will be positioned 6 degrees to the lower right of Saturn.

Then, on Tuesday (June 21), as we transition from spring to summer, take note of the last quarter ("half") moon situated 5 degrees to the lower right of Jupiter. If you have a telescope, it will be well worth checking out Jupiter to see all four Galilean moons — arranged not in a straight line but in a zigzag configuration, all on one side of the planet. Moving outward from Jupiter, you'll see Io, followed by Europa, then Callisto and, finally, the largest of the four, Ganymede.

On the following morning (Wednesday, June 22), the moon will come to within 5 degrees to the west (right) of Mars.

Then, from June 23 to 25, the waning crescent moon will occupy the broad space between Mars and Venus, and we could then imagine it serving as a proxy for our home planet — a sort of ersatz Earth — to help complete the planetary sequence.


Always speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.
06-23-2022 10:08 PM
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