In June, there’s a treat in store for skywatchers, as they’ll be able to spot five planets, visible to the naked eye, arranged in their natural order from the sun—left to right as you scan the horizon. These five planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The spectacular sky show will be visible on the eastern horizon just before the sun rises and obscures the view. Those who live in the Northern Hemisphere will need to look east and south. Those in the southern hemisphere should look east and north for the beautiful view.
Seeing two or three planets close together in conjunction is quite common. However, it is extraordinary to observe a conjunction of five planets. The last time the five planets with the naked eye queuing was in December 2004. However, this sequence will take place Mercury and Saturn much closer together.
While this arrangement should be visible throughout the month, some dates are particularly important, according to Sky & Telescope†
June 3 – 4: On these two mornings, the distance between Mercury and Saturn is at its smallest: just 91 degrees. Skygazers have less than half an hour – from Mercury first appearing above the horizon to essentially getting lost in the glare of the rising Sun†
June 24: This morning’s planetary lineup will be even more appealing. Skygazers have one hour to enjoy this parade. Although the separation of Mercury and Saturn will increase to 107 degrees, the real spectacle would be the waning crescent Moon among Venus and Marsserving as a power of attorney for Soil†
Astronomers have said there should be plenty of opportunities for everyone to see the five planets, even if it’s cloudy in their region on some days of the month. So make sure to wake up early and head for a location where you have an unobstructed view of the horizon.