5 planets to align in the morning sky
June 17, 2022
Posted by Lake Erie Nature and Science Center
The mornings of June 17 through June 23 will be a rare treat for sky watchers.
An alignment or “planet parade” will occur when 5 planets are visible to the naked eye in the morning sky, 45 minutes before sunrise. The planets will appear in order of their distance from the sun, with Mercury, closest to the sun, appearing lowest on the eastern horizon, and the most distant, Saturn, higher in the southern sky. Here are Planetarium and Program Coordinator Katy Downing’s tips for identifying the planets:
- Mercury will be lowest on the eastern horizon
- Venus will be the brightest object in the sky
- Mars will appear red in color
- Jupiter will be the second brightest of the planets
- Saturn will appear brighter than surrounding stars
Typically, we are lucky to observe 1-2 planets in the sky. The next planetary alignment like this will not happen until 2040 (then, 2854!) so be sure to set your alarm clocks and look up this month.