A Stunning Alignment of Five Planets This Week: Here’s how to See Them

A Stunning Alignment of Five Planets This Week: Here’s how to See Them

Amelia Keniksman, Staff Writer

Tuesday, March 28th, marks the best night of a planetary parade (alignment), as reported by CNN. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus will all be aligned this week just after sunset.

These types of planetary alignments are relatively common, as they happen every few years. Nonetheless, the event is a sight to see, even being able to be spotted in urban areas with a lot of light pollution.This kind of alignment happens when the planet’s orbits line them up on one side of the sun from Earth’s perspective. 

To see the alignment this year, you have to look slightly under the moon where the sky is dark, but not totally black. You will be able to see Venus, but with binoculars or a telescope you will be able to see further back. Venus is reported to be ‘one of the brightest things in the sky’ during one of these events. Uranus looks like it’s close to Venus, and Jupiter and Mercury are visible slightly farther away. Mercury and Venus are a little harder to spot, as they appear to be dimmer from our perspective on Earth.  Uranus is, according to PBS, a rare planet to spot.  Mars is by far the hardest to spot, but according to CNN, you need to look out for the planet that “appears orange.” Sometimes Mars can shine brightly in the sky, but this only occurs during these events.  You’ll want to look to the western horizon right after sunset to see the alignment best. Along with this, in the night sky, certain planets will only be able to be spotted for a certain amount of time. Jupiter and Mercury, for example, are only visible for about 30 minutes. 

The display will be most visible on Tuesday evening, and will be slightly visible on Friday and the next few weeks after. It can be spotted across the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and doesn’t take much to see it. Telescopes and binoculars are not generally needed to see Venus, Jupiter, and Mars and a glimpse of the other planets, so even without any materials, you can still watch the wonderful planetary event! 

If you are not able to see this spectacular event, don’t worry! There are other planetary alignments this year, with one on April 11th and August 24th, along with another five-planet alignment on June 17th.