I'm a space expert – here's the best way to watch EVERY planet line up in ultra-rare event next week | The Sun
A SPACE GURU has given his top tips for catching an ultra-rare planetary parade that will be visible across the globe next week.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus will line up just before sunrise on June 24.
Five of the Solar System stalwarts will be visible to the naked eye, making it a great celestial showcase for amateur stargazers.
The quintet has not appeared in the same line across the horizon since December 2004.
The remaining two – Uranus and Neptune – will be too dim to see unaided but you may spot them with binoculars or a telescope.
Speaking to The Sun, amateur astronomer and science communicator Kevin Walsh revealed where to look to catch the rare alignment.
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"If you look due East about 45 minutes before sunrise on June 24 you will be able to see this phenomenon," he said.
"For those in the North East of the UK, this will be around 3:30 a.m, and the South West around 4:00 a.m.
"Mercury will appear closest to the horizon around East North East and we will have around 30-40 minutes of visibility before Twilight interferes. Saturn will appear in the sky towards the South East."
Walsh has plenty of experience scouring the skies and is one of the brainboxes behind theplanets.org, an educational website aimed at school kids and backyard astronomers
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Alignments of all of the planets (bar Earth) are very rare, he said.
The next time the five naked-eye planets will line up in a row is predicted to be in September 2040.
At the start of the day on June 24, Uranus will be 6 degrees east of the Moon in Aries, shining at magnitude 5.9.
Neptune is 11.5 degrees west of Jupiter and magnitude 7.8 away in western Pisces.
The line of planets will stretch a right across the night sky, making it difficult to photograph.
However, it will provide quite the spectacle if you're willing to get up early enough to see it.
Walsh urged stargazers to pick a high vantage point and wrap up warm for the best experience.
"For most people, a good vantage point should offer a view of the horizon in the East to see the rise of Mercury," he said.
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"If you can, try to get out of the city centre the tall buildings and street lighting will interfere with your star gazing, even heading to a local park or playing field will offer a better vantage point."
"Remember to dress appropriately even though it is summer it can be quite chilly at 3:00 a.m."
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