Spectacular Planetary Parade today; here's how to watch it | Tech News

Spectacular Planetary Parade today; here's how to watch it

Get ready for an extraordinary astronomical event that you won't forget. Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury will all grace the sky together.

| Updated on: Jun 17 2023, 12:11 IST
Stunning NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Double Ring Galaxy, Nebula, Pandora Cluster, more
Planetary Parade
1/5 Trifid Nebula (June 5): This Nebula is known as M20, which is a star-forming region located about 9000 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagittarius. However, it is just 300,000 years old. (Martin Pugh/NASA)
Planetary Parade
2/5 Sun-like star (June 6): This is an animated illustration of the Sun-like star ZTF SLRN-2020. The breathtaking part is that this star has gobbled up one of its own planets. ZTF SLRN-2020 is located about 12000 light-years away from Earth, NASA mentioned. (K. Miller/R. Hurt/IPAC/Caltech)
Planetary Parade
3/5 Double Ring Galaxy (June 7): M94, a Double Ring Galaxy has over 40 billion stars. The spiral galaxy M94 has an inner ring of newly formed stars as well as an outer ring, that is more faint and different in colour. (NASA/ Brian Brennan)
Planetary Parade
4/5 Elephant's Trunk Nebula (June 8): Located about 3000 light-years from Earth, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula resides in a young star cluster, given the designation of IC 1396. (Steve Cannistra)
Planetary Parade
5/5 Pandora's Cluster of Galaxies (June 9): Abell 2744 or Pandora's Cluster of Galaxies is about 4 billion light-years away. It was formed when four smaller galaxy clusters formed nearly 350 million years ago.  (NASA/ESA/JWST/CSA/Ivo Labbe/Rachel Bezanson)
Planetary Parade
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Get ready to witness a spectacular "Planetary Parade" today. (Representative image) (Pexels)

This weekend, get ready for a special celestial event called a 'planetary parade' in the night sky. It's a rare occurrence when five planets gather at the same time. This exciting planetary alignment will happen at sunrise on Saturday, offering a stunning spectacle.

Which planets can you see?

Today, you will be able to witness the alignment of five planets: Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury. While Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury will be relatively easy to spot, Neptune and Uranus might be a bit challenging to see without binoculars.

Jupiter, in particular, will be the brightest object in the morning sky until the sun rises, making it quite noticeable. However, the other planets will appear fainter.

Why do the planets line up?

Contrary to what movies often show, the planets in our solar system never align perfectly in a straight line. If you were to look at a two-dimensional map of the planets and their orbits, they would eventually form a line, but they don't all orbit in the same plane in reality. Their movements occur in three dimensions and various orbits, so they will never be precisely aligned.

The alignment of planets depends on our perspective. From Earth, if three planets appear close together in the sky, it doesn't mean they are seen that way from the sun's perspective. It's all about a particular point of view.

When and where to watch?

For the best view, find a location with less light pollution and a clear view of the horizon. About an hour before sunrise, you can witness the entire spectacle. Mercury will be the last planet to appear, while Saturn will rise at 11:41 pm, and Jupiter will follow after 02:30 am.

In India, Mercury won't be visible until after 04:23 am. Remember that some planets might be easier to spot than others, depending on your location and the sky conditions.

You may be able to see Mercury with your naked eye, although it might appear a bit faint. Jupiter and Saturn, on the other hand, will shine brightly and be easily visible. To catch a glimpse of Neptune and Uranus, you'll need binoculars or a telescope.

This planetary parade is a remarkable and uncommon event. So, make sure to mark your calendars and don't miss the opportunity to witness this stunning alignment of five planets in the sky. It won't happen again until September 8, 2040, so enjoy this celestial show while it lasts!

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First Published Date: 17 Jun, 12:11 IST