Astronomy buffs are gearing up for a dazzling sky show later this month when the five planets of the solar system will be visible from Earth in a rare planetary alignment.
On March 28, Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus are expected to line up together in a small part of the sky shortly after sunset.
Two of the brighter planets, Mercury and Jupiter, will be visible near the horizon, while Venus is expected to shine higher in the sky.
Although binoculars are needed to detect Uranus, Mars will be visible near the Moon, which will be in its first waxing square phase.
While it is unusual to see two or three planets in the sky, five planet alignments are less common. This alignment happened last year, as well as in 2016 and 2020.
And last year, northern hemisphere stargazers had the amazing opportunity to observe Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn simultaneously.
And to easily identify planets later this month, it’s recommended to use apps like Sky Tonight by Star Walk, which can be hovered over the night sky to see what’s going on in real time.
According to Beth Beller of the University of Edinburgh, some planets will be easier to see than others.
And she explained, “Venus and Jupiter are very bright and easy to spot, and you may have seen them close together over the past few weeks. Mars is a little fainter, but still easy to see with the naked eye. Mercury is getting hard to spot.” , since you have to be in the position of Darkness with a clear view of the horizon if you want to see Mercury. As for Uranus, it is the faintest in brightness and the most difficult to see, and the sky observer will need binoculars or a telescope to see it.
Rick Finberg, senior editor at Sky & Telescope, confirmed that seeing all five planets at the same time on March 28 could be tricky, and it will depend on your location.
In less than a month, Mercury, Uranus, Venus and Mars are expected to align again in a 35 degree part of the sky. Then, on April 24, Mars, Venus, Uranus and Mercury will converge at 40 degrees.
Source: Daily Mail
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