Five planets are lining up in the sky in June. Here’s how to see it.

Five planets move in a rare alignment, which will be visible from Earth this week. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn line up – in that order – for the first time since December 2004. On Friday, June 24, the phenomenon will be most visible to astronomers.

While it’s common to see a conjunction of three planets close together, seeing five is rare, according to Sky & Telescope. The planets line up in their natural order from the Sun, which is also remarkable, according to the science magazine published by the American Astronomical Society.

The five so-called ‘naked-eye’ planets were visible from June 3-4, and the range could be seen with binoculars – but only for around half an hour, before Mercury was lost in the glare of the sun.

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Sky & Telescope says the best time to see the planets align on June 24 is 45 minutes before sunrise. It should be visible on the eastern horizon.

Sky & Telescope


But on June 24, the viewing will be optimal. Even as the distance between Mercury and Saturn increases, it’s getting easier to spot Mercury, so it’s getting easier and easier to see all five planets, Sky & Telescope Observing Editor Diana Hannikainen told CBS News per E-mail.

Hannikainen said the morning sky on the 24th “will present a delightful sight” as the waning crescent moon will also join the procession between Venus and Mars.

The planets should be visible the days before. Sky & Telescope says the best time to see the queue on June 24 is 45 minutes before sunrise. It should be visible on the eastern horizon.

According to NASA, four of the naked-eye planets have aligned over the past few months. But over the next few months, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus will expand. In September, Venus and Saturn will no longer be visible to most observers.

Another astronomical phenomenon will be visible in June: the globular star cluster M13, a very compact spherical collection of stars. M13, also known as the Hercules cluster, contains thousands of stars, believed to be about 12 billion years old, almost the age of the universe itself, according to The NASA.

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