Rare Planetary Alignment Dazzles Early Morning Sky

Planetary alignment, June, 2022

Here’s something worth getting up at 4 AM for: during this latter part of June, 2022, all five of our solar system’s planets bright enough to be seen with the naked eye – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – are strung out in a lovely arc in the pre-dawn sky. What is more: each appears in order according to its distance from the Sun. And as an extra-special bonus for today (June 24), the waning crescent moon took up a position right between Venus and Mars, the position in the celestial hierarchy occupied by itself and its planetary parent, the Earth.

A planetary alignment such as this one is relatively rare, occurring once every 20 years or so. The last one occurred in 2004 and the next one is expected in 2040. But if you’ve missed it thus far, don’t despair! While the moon will change its position rather quickly as it slides closer to the sun, the planetary alignment will still be visible to those willing to get up extra early for the next several days.

If you like this story, you might also want to check out:
All About the Moon
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