March 2, 2024

Balkan Travellers

Comprehensive up-to-date news coverage, aggregated from sources all over the world

5 planets will line up in the night sky this week.  Here's how to see them

5 planets will line up in the night sky this week. Here’s how to see them

A stargazer looks into the night sky near Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada August 12, 2015. File photo by Fred Thornhill/Reuters

NEW YORK (AP) — Watch the skies this week for a chance to witness the planet’s hangout.

Five planets – Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars – will line up near the Moon.

Where and when can you see them?

The best day to catch the whole group is Tuesday. You’ll want to look at the western horizon just after sunset, said Bill Cook, a NASA astronomer.

The planets will extend from the horizon line to about halfway above the night sky. But don’t be late: Mercury and Jupiter will drop rapidly below the horizon about half an hour after sunset.

Read more: Astronomers discover 12 new moons around Jupiter, jumping the total number to 92

The spread of the five planets can be seen from anywhere on Earth, as long as you have clear skies and a view of the West.

“That’s the beauty of these planetary alignments,” Cook said. “It doesn’t take much.”

A view of the crescent moon and Venus (below) after the moon’s disappearance of the second planet from the sun, from Kuwait City, March 24, 2023. Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP via Getty Images

Do I need binoculars?

maybe. Cook said it would be very easy to see Jupiter, Venus and Mars because they shine so brightly. Venus will be one of the brightest objects in the sky, and Mars will be hanging near the moon with a reddish glow. Mercury and Uranus may be harder to spot, because they will be much darker. You’ll probably need to grab a pair of binoculars.

See also  Qubits use 30 meters to confirm Einstein was wrong about quantum - Ars Technica

He watches: Mercury marches between Earth and the Sun

If you’re a planet collector, Cook said, this is a rare opportunity to spot Uranus, which isn’t normally visible. Look for the green glow over Venus.

Does this happen often?

Various numbers and groups of planets line up in the sky from time to time. There was a Five Planets lineup last summer, and there’s another lineup in June, with a slightly different make-up.

Cook said this type of alignment occurs when the planets’ orbits line up on one side of the sun from Earth’s perspective.

Leave:
A stargazer looks into the night sky near Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada August 12, 2015. File photo by Fred Thornhill/Reuters