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A ‘parade of the planets’ forms over the US this weekend – here’s how to see the six worlds lined up in the sky


The «show of planets» is set to be visible in the US sky before dawn on Sunday – but not all six worlds will be visible to the naked eye.

The orbits of Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune formed a parade over certain parts of the world on Thursday, but on June 3 they will march on America.

Only Mars and Saturn can be seen with the naked eye, Neptune and Uranus require binoculars, and Mercury and Jupiter will be overwhelmed by sunlight.

But those hoping to catch a glimpse of the celestial event should head out just before sunrise, and the east coast is said to have the best viewing area.

The orbits of Mercury , Mars , Jupiter , Saturn , Uranus , and Neptune formed a parade over certain parts of the world on Thursday, but they will make their way to America on June 3.

«People who plan to get up early and go out on June 3 and expect to catch a glimpse of Jupiter’s bloated disk or Saturn’s rings will be pretty disappointed, to say the least,» meteorologist Joe Rao warned this week.

Most sky watchers will have trouble spotting tiny distant Mercury and gas giant Jupiter, as both worlds will be too close to the horizon to be visible to most people, especially those living in rocky or mountainous geographic areas.

And only those with good binoculars will be able to spot Uranus and Neptune, which, like Mercury, will be too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

According to the meteorologist, Uranus is visible to the naked eye, but barely, and only to stargazers who live in the right remote areas.

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«Only under very dark, unpolluted skies,» Rao wrote on Space.com.

Of course, to see an object so faint, you need to know exactly where it is in the sky,» he noted. “A good star map will certainly help.

Only Mars and Saturn can be seen with the naked eye, Neptune and Uranus require binoculars, and Mercury and Jupiter will be overwhelmed by sunlight

For those who live in a rural, flat, open country like Montana or somewhere in the Great Plains region of America, who want to get up early to catch a glimpse of this planetary show, a few more modern versions of the star map can help.

Stellarium is one useful online tool to help you plan where to look at dawn, and on mobile, the free Sky Tonight app can make your hunt for our solar system’s June fair a lot easier.

You’ll still need a good telescope and even better weather to manage to see all six planets in one morning, but don’t despair if you fail.

«You worry that planetary alignments are rare, but honestly, they happen every few years,» NASA Meteoroid Environment Office chief Bill Cooke told ABC during the March 2023 Pentaplanetary Alignment of Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars.



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