Five will be lined up in night sky this week
Share this

NEW YORK — Keep an eye to the sky this week for a chance to see a planetary hangout.

Five planets — Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars — will line up near the moon.

Where and when can you see them?

The best day to catch the whole group is Tuesday. You’ll want to look to the western horizon right after sunset, said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke.

The planets will stretch from the horizon line to around halfway up the night sky. But don’t be late: Mercury and Jupiter will quickly dip below the horizon around half an hour after sunset.

The five-planet spread can be seen from anywhere on Earth, as long as you have clear skies and a view of the west.

“That’s the beauty of these planetary alignments. It doesn’t take much,” Cooke said.

Do I need binoculars?

Maybe. Jupiter, Venus and Mars will all be pretty easy to see since they shine brightly, Cooke said. Venus will be one of the brightest things in the sky, and Mars will be hanging out near the moon with a reddish glow. Mercury and Uranus could be trickier to spot, since they will be dimmer. You’ll probably need to grab a pair of binoculars.

If you’re a “planet collector,” it’s a rare chance to spot Uranus, which usually isn’t visible, Cooke said. Look out for its green glow just above Venus.

Does this happen often?

Different numbers and groups of planets line up in the sky from time to time. There was a five-planet lineup last summer and there’s another one in June, with a slightly different makeup.

This kind of alignment happens when the planets’ orbits line them up on one side of the sun from Earth’s perspective, Cooke said.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Share this
You May Also Like

CA Republicans Rebuke Planned Senate Visit of Anti-Catholic Group 'Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence'

As previously reported, the Los Angeles Dodgers initially invited, canceled, and subsequently…

Are cosmetic treatments RUINING period drama? Viewers of 10 Pound Poms ‘struggling to enjoy series’

By their very nature, period dramas are supposed to transport viewers to…

Experimental surgery helps paralyzed Dutch man get back on his feet

Experimental surgery helps paralyzed Dutch man get back on his feet –…

Manhunt on for suspect in fatal shooting of West Virginia officer

A state police officer was fatally shot Friday in southern West Virginia,…

Kevin Ollie joining Nets’ staff as assistant after Pistons snub

Brooklyn is adding Kevin Ollie as an assistant coach. The news was…

Man confesses to killing landlord 15 years ago, police recordings show

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police officers found Tony Peralta earlier this month sitting…

Biden bamboozled TV networks into airing a purely political speech

When a president decides to make an address from the Oval Office, you…

Mets sputter again in 2nd consecutive loss to Blue Jays

The Mets have relied on David Robertson all season and for the…

Tom Brady reveals he would prefer his son Jack to NOT play football

NFL legend Tom Brady enjoyed an illustrious career but following his second…

Churchill Downs, home of Kentucky Derby, suspends racing after 12 horses die

Churchill Downs announced it is suspending all racing as safety measures are…

3-month-old baby saved by groundbreaking skull operation: report

A three-month-old baby in Northern Italy whose brain descended into his nose was saved…

West Virginia state trooper fatally shot, suspect caught after extensive search

BEECH CREEK, W.Va. — A state police officer was fatally shot Friday…