Did you think Venus and Jupiter appearing to line up in the sky earlier this year was cool? Sure, that conjunction was fine, but this month, five planets are aligning. Objectively, that is much cooler, and you should make an effort to check it out. Here’s what you need to know to do so.
Which planets are lining up?
According to Live Science, Mercury may already be visible near Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter in the predawn sky, but it all depends on the viewing conditions in your area. This alignment has been developing for months, per Live Science, and marks the first alignment of the five visible planets since 2020.
Where, when, and how can you see all five planets?
Again, your ability to see the planets lining up will depend on the viewing conditions where you are located, but broadly speaking, they’ll be visible in the Northern Hemisphere early in the morning, and you won’t need a telescope or any special equipment to see them.
Live Science says the alignment will be across the eastern horizon, and you have your best shot at seeing it about 45 minutes before the sun rises. Check your local predictions for sunrise every day here. Sunrise varies from day to day throughout different regions of the hemisphere—and it will suck to get up early but not early enough.
Mercury is expected to appear in the alignment around June 10, but will continue to rise higher above the horizon every day, so don’t worry if you have terrain or buildings blocking your view at first. Your best bet is to try to catch the view in late June, but be warned that Mercury will head back below the horizon in early July. The crescent moon on June 27 will help you identify Mercury if you’re struggling, as the planet will be just below and to the right of the crescent.
You can differentiate between stars and planets by looking for consistent light. Stars will appear to twinkle, while the light from a planet will remain steady. Find five of those steady lights and you’ll know you’re looking at the alignment, with Mercury farthest to the east, followed by bright Venus, orange Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn moving toward the west.