Out of this world: 5 planets line up in rare sky parade. Here’s when, where to look

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn put on dazzling display

FILE - In this file photo made available by NASA shows the planet Venus made with data from the Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. Two spacecraft are set to swoop past Venus within hours of each other this week, using the manoeuvre to do a little bit of bonus science on the way to the center of our solar system, starting with the Solar Orbiter probe operated by NASA and the European Space Agency early Monday Aug. 9, 2021 (NASA/JPL-Caltech FILE via AP) (Uncredited)

ORLANDO, Fla. – “My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas.”

Mercury. Venus. Earth. Mars. Jupiter. Saturn. Uranus. Pluto.

You may remember the mnemonic device from elementary school to remember the order of the planets in our solar system. Back in the day, Pluto was a planet, but that’s a story for another time.

In this alignment, you’ll only have to remember part of the saying, however. The five naked-eye planets have been hanging out together in the pre-dawn sky for most of June and will continue for the rest of the month.

What makes this alignment so rare is that the planets are lined up in order from distance from the sun, hence the saying.

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Mercury is the lowest on the horizon, followed by the much brighter Venus. Mars, with reddish tint, resides to the northeast. Jupiter and the fainter Saturn are the highest in the sky.

The alignment will be at its peak before sunrise Friday, and you can look toward the east and south to see our neighbors in the solar system put on this dazzling display.


About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.