A rare phenomenon, the planets will align in the sky: what will we be able to see on the morning of June 3?

A rare phenomenon, the planets will align in the sky: what will we be able to see on the morning of June 3?
A rare phenomenon, the planets will align in the sky: what will we be able to see on the morning of June 3?

Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will approach the same side of the sun at the same time. Which will allow them to be observed… under certain conditions.

An alignment of planets. It is not only an expression to summarize a succession of favorable events, it is also truly an astronomical event… but quite rare.

Science & Vie magazine reminds us that we speak of a mini-alignment when 3 planets are aligned, of a small alignment when there are 4, and of a large alignment when 5 or more planets are aligned. This is what will happen next June 3 in the morning, with the alignment of… 6 planets: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. An even more rare phenomenon.

On the same side of the sun

Let us point out, however, that these planets will not be aligned in a perfect straight line as the usual term suggests. On “on the same side of the sun”. He adds : “If you look at these planets, they seem to form a beautiful line… and they are where you saw the sun pass, and the Moon also passes the same place! They follow what we call the ecliptic”.

Public Service Announcement: You may have heard about an alignment of planets in early June. And you may have been led to believe that it looked like that, that it was therefore exceptional! Well it’s not like that:
Threadud83dudc47 u00a9freepik pic.twitter.com/ht8cJDYtJc

— Eric Lagadecu2728ud83cudf0d (@EricLagadec) https://twitter.com/EricLagadec/status/1793995710171697614?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Can we then observe them? “In the early morning, before the sun rises”, assures Eric Lagadec. According to him, we will be able to see Mars and Saturn. “For Neptune and Uranus, you will need a telescope. Jupiter and Uranus will be very close to the Sun, therefore difficult to see”.

Observation, instructions for use

According to the specialist site Starwalk, “The yellowish Saturn will be visible in the sky from late night to the naked eye in the constellation Aquarius. Neptune will be located in the neighboring constellation Pisces, but you will need high-powered binoculars to spot it. Few Afterwards, Mars will rise and we will be able to distinguish its reddish tint with the naked eye, also in the constellation Pisces.. At dawn, still according to Starwalk, “Uranus, Jupiter and Mercury will appear on the eastern horizon. Jupiter will be bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, and with any luck, we will be able to see Mercury without optics as well. However, this will be more difficult, because Mercury is located near the Sun. Uranus will only be visible through binoculars”. The three planets will be located in the Taurus constellation.

What we should be able to observe on June 3, according to Starwalk.
©Starwalk/Sky Tonight.©Vito Technology, Inc.

The site recommends using “Sky Tonight”, a free stargazing application that makes it easier to identify any celestial object in the sky. And, if possible, to move away from any visual pollution.

Second chance on August 28

Other specialists doubt the possibility of seeing all six planets at the same time. But, rest assured, there should be a second chance this year, on August 28.

Furthermore, another phenomenon should be visible in June: a shower of meteors, called the diurnal Arietids, which will reach their peak of activity on Friday the 7th. On your telescopes!

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