A SPACE GURU has shared his top tips for catching an ultra-rare planet parade that will be visible around the world next week.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus will line up just before sunrise on June 24th.
Five of the solar system’s paragons will be visible to the naked eye, making it a great celestial showcase for amateur stargazers.
The quintet has not appeared on the horizon in the same line since December 2004.
The remaining two – Uranus and Neptune – are too dim to see unaided, but you can spot them with binoculars or a telescope.
Speaking to The Sun, amateur astronomer and science communicator Kevin Walsh revealed where to look to find the rare alignment.
“If you look east about 45 minutes before sunrise on June 24, you can see this phenomenon,” he said.
“For those in the north-east of the UK, this will be around 3:30am and around 4:00am in the south-west
“Mercury will appear closest to the horizon east-northeast and we will have about 30-40 minutes of visibility before dawn interferes. Saturn will appear towards the southeast in the sky.”
Walsh has extensive experience combing the sky and is one of the brains behind theplanets.org, an educational website aimed at schoolchildren and amateur astronomers
Alignments of all planets (except Earth) are very rare, he said.
The next time the five planets visible to the naked eye will line up is expected to be in September 2040.
As the day begins on June 24, Uranus is 6 degrees east of the Moon in Aries and shines at magnitude 5.9.
Neptune is 11.5 degrees west of Jupiter and mag 7.8 away in western Pisces.
The line of planets stretches across the night sky, making photography difficult.
However, it will offer quite a spectacle if you are willing to get up early enough to see it.
Walsh urged stargazers to find a high vantage point and wrap up warm for the best experience.
“For most people, a good vantage point should offer a view of the horizon to the east to see Mercury’s rise,” he said.
“If you can, try to get out of the city center. The tall buildings and street lights will bother you when gazing at the stars, even going to a local park or playing field gives a better vantage point.”
“Remember to dress appropriately, even though it’s summer, it can be quite chilly at 3:00 a.m.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5589677/astronomer-best-way-watch-every-planet-line-up/ I’m a space expert – here’s the best way to see EVERY planet compete in an ultra-rare event next week