Best Time to See 5 Planets Align in the Nighttime Sky this Month
A celestial sky show almost 20 years and a few aeons in the making will unfold in the nighttime sky over Louisiana during the month of June. Star gazers will have the chance this month to not see just one or two planets with the naked eye. If you know where and when to look you'll be able to see five of Earth's nearest neighbors in the solar system right from your backyard.
The heavenly bodies in question are the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Of those five planets, Venus will be the easiest to spot while Mercury will be the one you'll struggle to find.
One more aspect of the nighttime sky spectacular is the fact that the planets will actually be arranged in their natural order from the sun. So as you look across the evening sky starting from low in the east to higher in the south you'll be able to see them all.
Because of its position close to the horizon and the fact that Mercury is such a tiny planet too, it will be the most difficult planet to spot especially this first week in June. However, as the month moves on Mercury will appear higher and brighter in the nighttime sky.
Sky and Telescope Magazine offered these helpful hints to those wanting to see the planets align. While you can see all the planets with the naked eye, having a pair of binoculars wouldn't be a bad idea. Especially if you're attempting to locate Mercury.
The best time to catch a glimpse of the planetary lineup will be in the hours just before dawn. You'll want to make sure you have a good view of the horizon as you look toward the east. That's because you'll need that clear line of sight to see Mercury before it gets caught up in the glare of the rising sun.
Remember if you're going to head outdoors in the pre-dawn hours of a Louisiana summer morning, don't forget your bug spray and or insect repellant. You know you're going to need it, so bring it. And if you don't then you'll need this.
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