Rare Cosmic Event: Six Planets Align in Spectacular Display

Rare Cosmic Event: Six Planets Align in Spectacular Display

Rare Cosmic Event: Six Planets Align in Spectacular Display

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Stargazers gear up for an extraordinary celestial show.

23 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

A rare alignment of six planets is set to grace the early morning skies in the first week of June. The upcoming planetary alignment promises a mesmerising display as Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune align in a near-straight line, creating a breathtaking cosmic spectacle. While such alignments are relatively rare occurrences, they are primarily illusions of perspective, with planets appearing to align from Earth’s viewpoint rather than in actual spatial alignment.

Despite the cosmic rarity, not all six planets will be visible to the naked eye due to their varying distances from Earth. Furthermore, the presence of the Moon may impact visibility, adding a layer of challenge for observers. 

Mercury and Jupiter, due to their proximity to the Sun, may prove tricky to spot without optical aid. However, Mars and Saturn will offer a dim but visible presence, while keen-eyed observers armed with telescopes or high-powered binoculars may catch glimpses of the distant Uranus and Neptune.

The alignment will unfold in stages throughout the night, with Saturn’s yellowish glow marking the first appearance in the late night hours, followed by Neptune, Mars, Uranus, Jupiter and Mercury gracing the eastern horizon at dawn.

While Jupiter promises to be a brilliant sight, the proximity of Mercury to the Sun may present challenges for naked-eye observation. Astronomy enthusiasts are advised to research the date and time of the alignment in advance, utilising resources from various astronomy websites, apps and organisations such as NASA or local observatories.

Choosing an optimal viewing spot with a clear, unobstructed view of the horizon is essential for a memorable celestial experience. High places away from city lights, coupled with clear skies, will maximise visibility and enhance the viewing experience.