The latter half of June 2022 will be a treat for sky-watchers. All five of the bright visible planets will be in alignment, in the order that we find them in the solar system, from left to right across the pre-dawn sky. Beginning June 16th, Mercury will also be as bright and high up as it ever is, so you may not need a totally flat eastern horizon to see it.
If you have binoculars you can also follow this alignment along the ecliptic to see both Uranus and Neptune as well because they will also be in the pre-dawn sky, though it would have been easier a few days ago when Venus was closer to both planets and therefore a good mark of where to point the binoculars. Still, it’s not hard. The waning moon will also be showing up along the alignment, sitting next to Saturn on the 18th in its gibbous phase and then progressing along the line, ending up a lovely waning crescent next to Mercury on the 27th.
Be sure to go out at least once to see this wonderful show. The alignment will last until September though it will not be as spectacular as June when Mercury is easy to see. The planets won’t align like this again until 2040… and then if you miss that one too, you’re out of luck. The next one after that doesn’t happen until 2854!
For those who like to take night sky photos, Space.com will be posting your pictures.
For the record, this alignment — called a ‘planetary parade’ by the astrological folks — apparently has no effect on astrology. I’m not at all knowledgeable or inclined in this direction, but I did sort of think a planetary alignment would be a big deal to them. To find out it’s not was surprising. Though they are as excited as I am by the chance to see it happen.
for 15 June 2022
Well, what did you expect?
©Elizabeth Anker 2022
Wednesdays are open posts. Anything you feel like sharing (except the usual injunctions against foul messaging).