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Stargazers, brace yourselves – five planets will line up for the first time in around two decades tomorrow (24 June).
The moon is even set to join the planetary party, and we'll be staying up to see the spectacular display – let's be honest, it'll likely be better than a Friday trip to Spoons.
You'll be able to see the planets on the eastern horizon and if, like us, you have no sense of direction, just use the compass app on your phone and head to timeanddate.com to find out where and when you should look for the celestial bodies.
At this point, you might be wondering why the planets aligning is a big deal? Well, it's because it's the first time in nearly two decades that the planets have appeared in their normal order – you know, the order we spent years learning only to find out that Pluto would be cruelly taken away.
Look up! 🔭— Frost Science (@FrostScience) June 23, 2022
During June, a rare planetary alignment that includes Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be easily seen with the naked eye before sunrise through June 27, and will be the last time the five brightest planets cluster in the sky until 2040! #Planets #Space pic.twitter.com/16Xbj3QyLI
A similar sight occurred in 2004 but was not as close as this time round, which means that tomorrow's planetary parade is way better because it won't give you quite such a bad neckache.
And, for the prepared among us, you'll be able to see Uranus, Neptune, and our beloved Pluto with a telescope too – though these three aren't quite in the right position to be considered in their natural alignment.
Still, it's an exciting affair, with NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller telling The Washington Post that the alignment is like a 'free tour' of the solar system.
She explained: "Planets are often getting closer to each other and farther away from each other, but this is just a particularly fun order. It’s just coincidence.
The Grand Planetary Alignment that will take place on 24th June. All the 7 planets will almost seem to align in the predawn sky, and five of them will be visible with unaided eyes. Starting from the horizon, they include Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.#astronomy pic.twitter.com/a9em4d6C8s— Rituparna🇮🇳 🕉️ (@Reineguerrieree) June 22, 2022
"It’s just kind of this really sort of fun tour of the solar system that you can take for free."
And, no matter where you are, you should be able to see the alignment.
"Even in the city, [the planets] are bright enough — you should be able to see. Go up on a friend’s balcony or on the rooftop. As long as you can get a nice clear horizon and clear skies, you can see it," Thaller added.
The planets will span 107 degrees, as reported by Sky & Telescope, and don't worry if it's cloudy tomorrow, you should be able to see the planets for a days after the alignment – just not so close together.
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