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Six planets will soon appear in the sky, here's how to properly observe this rare event

Six planets will soon appear in the sky, here's how to properly observe this rare event

This event rarely happens, so don't miss the alignment of the six planets visible on Monday, June 3 in our sky.

It's the well-established expression when a project goes off without a hitch: planetary alignment. On Monday, June 3, it will no longer be just a metaphor, but a reality since astrophysicists announced that six planets will line up! These are Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Anglo-Saxons talk about the “parade of the planets” because this event is as rare as it is spectacular.

But what do we mean by “planetary alignment”? First, we must remember that in our solar system, planets like Earth constantly revolve around the sun. By rotating, over time, they end up finding themselves on the same line of sight from Earth. And this is what will happen to the French on June 3, early in the morning: these six planets, all rotating in the same plane, will actually be on the same side of the sun.

Since each planet moves at a different speed depending on its distance from the Sun, this “alignment” with the six planets will be relatively short-lived. When we write “relative,” it is because everything started on May 31, and there will be a catch-up session on June 4, or even June 5. On the other hand, what is certain is that this phenomenon will be more evident on the morning of the third day.

Of course, you'll need powerful binoculars or better yet a telescope to enjoy the view and take a group shot. But… with the naked eye, it would actually be possible to see many of them. Knowing that Mercury and Jupiter first will be very low in the sky. Very close to sunrise. After that, Uranus will be completely dark, while Neptune will be no more visible than a star because it is located about four billion kilometers from Earth. The good news is that Mars and Saturn should be visible to the naked eye. Obviously provided the weather is suitable there should be minimal clouds.

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To help us discover them, in clear skies, we can rely on the moon. Since Friday, Earth's satellite has been directly below Saturn, and will descend each day along this alignment of the planets. On Monday, June 3, in the early morning, the moon will be under the planet Mars. Higher in the sky there will be Saturn, and between the two, barely visible, will be Neptune. Under the moon, descending towards sunrise, we will find Mercury and Jupiter. Like Neptune, Uranus will be difficult to distinguish.

The extraordinary thing about June 3rd is that this “planetary display” concerns six planets. Usually, and this happens several times a year, we can distinguish between two or four planets at the same time. Of five planets, this becomes even rarer, and six is ​​quite exceptional because we must remember that our solar system has eight planets. Since Earth cannot appear in the sky, all that is missing is Venus. The latter is the first to appear at nightfall, and disappears at sunrise. That is why it is invisible to us earthlings.