This week, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars will line up near the Moon for a rare planetary hangout! To see this event, you’ll need to plan carefully to get the timing just right. Read on for some tips!
When and where can I see the alignment?
The best time for viewing will be Tuesday, 03/28/23, just after sunset. The planets will stretch from the western horizon line to halfway up the night sky. However, all five planets will only be in view for a limited time — Mercury and Jupiter will sink below the horizon just one hour after sunset, so don’t be late! The alignment can be seen from anywhere on Earth, as long as the weather is clear and you have an unobstructed view of the western sky.
Jupiter, Venus, and Mars will be easy to spot, as they shine very brightly. Mars will be located closest to the Moon, distinguishable by its reddish glow, and Venus will be one of the brightest objects in the sky. Mercury and Uranus will be a bit more difficult to spot, so this will be a great time to use binoculars or a telescope if you have them on hand. If not, you will be able to see them with your unaided eye if you look closely and eliminate any unnecessary light sources in your viewing area.
Don’t miss out — an event like this won’t happen again for another 20 years!