NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will align in order this week for the first time in 18 years.
You won’t need a telescope to see the rare grouping of planets, as they will all be visible to the naked eye. It might still be difficult to see all five planets clearly, however, because of how dim Mercury appears.
As we get closer to the end of the month, Mercury will become brighter as it gradually climbs higher above the horizon each night.
The best day for viewing will be on Friday, June 24, when the waning crescent moon joins the lineup of planets. Looking toward the southeast, the moon will appear positioned between Venus and Mars.
The best time to look to the sky will be about 45 minutes to about 1 hour before sunrise through the end of June. Keep in mind that June has some of the earliest sunrises of the year, so this means the ideal viewing time is just before 5 a.m.
This “parade of planets” hasn’t been seen from Earth since 2004, and it won’t happen again until 2040.
Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will still be visible for most mornings in July, but the group of planets will spread out farther and farther as the month goes on.