2024 has gifted us with some spectacular celestial views from the total solar eclipse in April to the northern lights seen throughout most of the U.S. in May. June brings another astronomical phenomenon known as “planets on parade.” 

What You Need To Know

  • Six planets will align on the morning of June 3

  • Planets lining up happens a couples times per year

  • Three of the six planets will rise just before 6 a.m. making them faint in the sunlight

It’s nicknamed as such because several planets appear to form into a straight line in the early morning sky. However, Spectrum News Space Expert Anthony Leone says it’s all about perspective. “In reality (and out in space), they are not lined up. It only appears that way to us.”

This ‘parade’ is unique because six planets, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, will align. He recommends waking up early and finding a location with minimal light pollution for optimal viewing. “Saturn is expected to rise from the east to southeast of the horizon at 2 a.m. ET on June 3.”

And bring binoculars or a telescope. “With the naked eye, you can see planets Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as stars. The more distant planets like Uranus and Neptune will need binoculars or a telescope to view.”

Adding, “Free astronomy apps like ‘Sky Guide,’ ‘Planets’ and ‘SkyPortal’ are great at helping people see when and where the planets will rise.” 

With three out of the six planets expected to rise just before 6 a.m., the sun may end up obscuring the view of the “parade.”

As for how common is this event?

“Believe it or not, planet alignments are not too rare, and they happen a couple of times each year. It just depends on how many planets will be in alignment for a parade,” explains Leone. 

“The last time people saw most planets line up was this year’s total solar eclipse in April.” 

And if the weather doesn’t permit you for the viewing in June, there will be another opportunity in August. “The next one will be Aug. 28 with Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all aligning.”

2025 will have three chances to witness planets on parades, Jan. 18, Feb. 28 and Aug. 29.

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