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Five planets are set to visibly align across night sky in rare event

Five planets are set to visibly align across night sky in rare event

The rare event will see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus lined up in the sky

It’s almost time to look to the skies again as we’re about to witness a rare astrological event that will see five planets within our solar system line up.

On March 28, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus will all be lined up together and visible from Earth shortly after sunset.

Venus and Jupiter, which are two of the brighter planets, are expected to be fairly noticeable, while Mercury could be a little more difficult to see.

For Uranus, you’ll probably need a pair of binoculars or a telescope as it’s the hardest to spot, but you should be able to see Earth’s neighbour, Mars, without much difficulty.

Beth Biller, from the University of Edinburgh, told Mail Online that some planets will be easier to spot in the sky than others.

She said: “Venus and Jupiter are both very bright and easy to pick out and you may have already seen them close together over the past few weeks.

“Mars is a bit fainter, but still easily observed with the naked eye. Mercury starts getting tricky - you need to be at a dark site with a clear view of the horizon if you want to see Mercury.

Venus and Jupiter should be visible with the naked eye.
Stefan Sollfors / Alamy Stock Photo

“Uranus is the faintest and hardest to see - you'll need binoculars or a telescope to see Uranus.”

Rick Fienberg, senior contributing editor for Sky & Telescope and senior advisor to the American Astronomical Society, also spoke with Fox 35 about the upcoming event and warned that seeing all five planets at the same time could be tricky depending on where in the world you’re looking from.

"Unless you have a clear sky and a nearly flat western horizon free of obstructions such as trees or buildings, you won’t see Jupiter and Mercury." he said.

Mars should also be fairly easy to spot.
Naeblys / Alamy Stock Photo

However, even if you’re not in a great location for planet-gazing, a pair of binoculars or a telescope should help you out.

And while planets lining up in a ‘planet parade’ is pretty uncommon, five being out in alignment is a much rarer event - it last occurred in 2020 and before that in 2016 and 2005.

Even the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, is feeling pretty excited about it.

He wrote on Twitter: “Don’t forget to look to the sky the end of the month for the planetary alignment which will have at least five planets – plus the moon – all visible in almost an arc shape as seen from Earth.”

Featured Image Credit: Oliver Taylor / Alamy Stock Photo/Science Photo Library / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: NASA, Space, Science