FOUR planets will be visible in the night sky this week during a rare quadruple alignment.
Earth neighbors Mars and Venus, and gas giants Jupiter and Saturn will all appear in a neat row for the remainder of April.
Alignment will be visible to the unaided eye around April 17th, but is easiest to see on April 20th, Live Science reports.
They are at their brightest about half an hour before sunrise.
In the US, the planets will appear just above the horizon to the east. In the UK they will be visible in the east-southeast.
You should be able to see the orientation with the naked eye, making this a great heavenly showcase to take the kids to.
Jupiter appears furthest to the west and closest to the horizon. followed by Venus, Mars and Saturn.
It’s best to venture out on a clear morning and choose an elevated spot with as little light pollution as possible.
A fifth celestial body will join the party late next week.
The moon is expected to complete alignment on April 23 when it appears alongside the celestial cluster to the east.
Planetary alignments don’t happen very often, especially when up to four are involved at once.
However, this month’s gathering is just the foretaste of an even more spectacular alignment to come this summer.
On June 24, all of the other planets in the solar system—Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus—will converge in the sky.
You need a telescope or binoculars to see the most distant planets, Neptune and Uranus.
And the line stretches a long way across the night sky, making it difficult to photograph.
Alignments of all planets (except Earth) are very rare. This is only the third time since 2005.
“We don’t always get this opportunity,” says astronomy educator Michelle Nichols of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago said LiveScience.
“Sometimes there are one or two in the sky; often there is none.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8645025/planetary-alignment-mars-venus-jupiter-saturn-how/ Rare planetary alignment visible this week featuring Mars, Venus, Jupiter AND Saturn – how to spot them