Stargazers are working themselves up into a right tizzy with the recent revelation that as many as five planets could be visible on the same night this month. On March 28, thanks to a relatively rare astronomical phenomenon, five different planets will align within a “50-degree sky sector”. From Earth, this will give the appearance of them being closer together than they actually are. This will give space fans a chance to see the planets in an impressive cluster, and even without the use of star-gazing equipment. Fingers crossed for a clear night!
Which planets will we be able to see?
The night will see Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, and Venus all lining up within a relatively close-together portion of the night sky. Mercury and Jupiter, being two of the brighter planets, will appear near the horizon, with Venus situating itself higher in the sky.
Excitingly, while binoculars or some techy equipment might be needed to spot some of the planets, Uranus for example, Mars will be visible to the naked eye. We’re just going to go outside and look really hard and hope we can see them all. Guessing we’re going to need our glasses for this one?
While it’s not uncommon for the planets to line up from time to time, it’s rare for this many to do so at once. It last happened in 2022, and before that in 2020 and 2016.
Is this the only chance to see such a sight?
No, there will be other chances to see clusters of planets in the night sky over the coming year. And these will be coupled with hopefully more balmy weather to boot! While Spring may be coming, it’s hardly going to be warm on the evening of March 28…
According to educational astronomy app Star Walk, Mercury, Uranus, Venus, and Mars will align again less than a month later, with even more chances to see the planets thanks to planetary alignments throughout the summer.