Five planets line up to put on a celestial show for skywatchers tonight. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus will briefly appear in a planetary alignment near the crescent moon after sunset. The planets – Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus, and Mars – will come together on the western horizon. Near the crescent moon, for a brief display after sunset.
5 Planets Align: This week is witnessing a rare celestial event that has captured the attention of stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts all around the world.
From March 28, 2023, onwards, stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts around the world will have a rare opportunity to witness a spectacular celestial event. A planetary alignment. Five planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, and Uranus – will align in the sky and create a breathtaking display of celestial beauty. The alignment will be visible to the naked eye, except for Mercury and Uranus. Which may require binoculars or a telescope to locate. The planets will be aligned on one side of the sun, forming a line beneath the moon. And the phenomenon will occur every night throughout this week.
However, the optimal time to view the “planet parade” is immediately after sunset on Tuesday, March 28. The planets will start disappearing from the sky within 30 minutes of sunset, so acting fast is essential. The alignment of the planets is called a planetary alignment. And it occurs when several planets gather on one side of the sun at the same time. Missing the opportunity to witness this rare sight on Tuesday means waiting another 17 years for a chance to see it again in 2040.
As for the rarity of planetary alignments, Ferreira said ones like tonight happen once or twice each year. But an alignment of all the planets in the solar system, minus Earth, “that’s something like once every 200 or 300 years,” he said. “So it kind of depends on the objects and how many of them are lined up.”
Rare or not, Ferreira said events like tonight are always a joy, even for avid skywatchers like himself.