Five planets align on June 24

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The planetary alignment as seen at 4:10am on 24 June 2022 © NASA/ESA/ESO/Space Telescope Science Institute/IAU Minor Planet Center/Fabien Chereau/Noctua Software via sciencefocus.com

Stargazers will be thrilled to hear that a rare phenomenon will occur on June 24, when five planets will align and will be easy to see with the naked eye.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, in that order, will be aligned for the first time in 18 years. It may be possible to see Uranus between Venus and the moon with binoculars or a telescope, once the skies are crystal clear.

According to ScienceFocus, “The best time to see the planets align will be between 3.39 am and sunrise at 4.43 am on the morning of 24 June.”

Saturn will be the first to appear, just before midnight, Jupiter will be next to appear, around 1.07 am, followed by Mars at 1.37 am, then Venus at 3.03 am and finally Mercury at 3.39 am.

This phenomenon will disappear from the sky around 4.43 am and will not occur again until 2040.

The alignment of the eight major planets of the solar system has only occurred once, over 1,000 years ago, in the year AD 949. The next occurrence will be on May 6, 2492.