Earthlings can see five of their closest neighbors in a row this month.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn It aligns with its natural arrangement across the morning sky in a rare conjunction.
Astrologically, a conjunction occurs when two or more objects appear to line up in the sky.
Over the next week, it will become easier to spot Mercury as it moves away from the sun. The planet is usually hard to see, but Mercury will reach its maximum elongation, or farthest point from the Sun, on June 16, making it easier to see. According to EarthSky.org.
And on June 24, about an hour before sunrise, sky-divers can witness an extremely rare extravaganza in the solar system. The crescent will also be in its position between Venus and Mars – replacing Earth in the planetary lineup.
It’s icing on the pairing cake.
“The planets often get closer together and further away from each other, but this is just a particularly interesting arrangement. It’s just a coincidence,” NASA astronomer Michelle Thaler told The New York Times. Washington Post. “It’s just kind of like this really fun tour of the solar system that you can take for free.”
Over the next few months, the planets will appear scattered across the morning sky. By September, Venus and Saturn will no longer be viewable to most morning sky watchers, According to NASA.
The eight planets will never align perfectly because of our different orbits and inclinations. Conjunctions of many planets occur fairly often, but the conjunction of five planets only occurs about every 20 years.
According to the Washington Post, the last time five planets lined up was in December 2004, and the next time will be in 2040.
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