This year saw a rare astronomical spectacle: the so-called planetary alignment. For a week, at least five of the solar system were observed hours before sunrise: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In May, four of them were seen.
(Read: Why, despite their similarities, do Uranus and Neptune have different blues?)
The intriguing thing that has predictably millions of people around the world is that in the early hours of June 24, a new hero will appear in the lineup. It concerns the Moon, which lies between Venus and Mars, as detailed by the National Astronomical Observatory of El País newspaper.
This alignment has not occurred since December 2004. NASA has calculated that this will not happen again until September 2040.
How do you see it? The lineup can be seen under clear skies and in different cities and towns it can be seen. The important thing is to fix a place where you can see the eastern and southern horizons without buildings or obstacles.
(Also: Mercury: Why doesn’t it have satellites like other planets?)
About an hour before sunrise on June 24, you’ll be able to see it when Mercury rises above the horizon. Scientists said the best time would be between 3:39 am and 4:43 am.
According to the magazine ScienceFocusSaturn will be the first planets to appear, rising above the horizon just before midnight. The rings will slip, and the northern hemisphere will tilt toward the Earth. It will be Jupiter then, around 1:07 a.m. on June 24, and it will shine brightly.
After that, Mars will appear at 1:37 am and will be recognized as orange. It will be the penultimate Venus leaving at 3:03 a.m., making it the brightest in the lineup. Finally, Mercury will appear at 3:39 AM and will appear on the horizon for just over an hour.
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