New Orleans (WGNO) – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align in order this month for the first time in 18 years. This week will provide peak viewing time to see the Planet Parade.
You don’t need a telescope to see rare gathering of planets, where they will all be visible to the naked eye. However, it can be difficult to see Mercury due to its dim appearance.
As we approach the end of June, Mercury will get brighter as it gradually rises above the horizon each night, according to sky and telescope.
The best day to watch will be Friday, June 24, when the waning crescent joins the planetary lineup. Looking toward the southeast, the moon will appear in its position between Venus and Mars.
The best time to look at the sky would be about 45 minutes to about one hour before sunrise until the end of June. Keep in mind that June has some of the earliest sunrises of the year, meaning that the ideal viewing time is just before 5 a.m.
Experts say this “parade of planets” has not been seen from Earth since 2004, and won’t happen again until 2040.
Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will still be visible for most of the mornings in July, but the group of planets will spread farther and farther as the month goes on.