Through the end of June, all of the naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) will be aligned in the east-southeastern sky.

This is a great opportunity to bring out the telescopes and be able to easily identify each planet. The planetary alignment, known as a conjunction, will be visible through this week, but the best viewing looks to occur during the early morning hours of Friday, June 24th. The moon is near a half-moon phase, but the moon will be waning (decreasing) by the end of the week. This will decrease the light pollution produced by the moon, making the planets more easily seen.

The planets will also be aligned by their order in the solar system starting with Mercury in the eastern sky, just above the horizon, followed by Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with Saturn being located more in the southern sky. The crescent moon will be positioned between Venus and Mars! This alignment is rare, not happening again until 2040.

The best viewing will be right around dawn Friday, or shortly before. It’s best to have the least amount of city light pollution as possible!