At dawn throughout the second half of June look towards the east-south sky for the rare sight of all the major planets in alignment along with the Moon marching across the sky and pairing with a different world from day to day.
This unusual world line-up includes not only the five classical naked-eye planets of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, but also fainter Uranus and even Neptune. Skywatchers get to see the five bright planets visible to the unaided eyes coincidently appear to be lined up in correct order of their orbital distance from our Sun with Mercury the closest to the Sun and Saturn the farthest. Meanwhile observers will need to have very dark skies with little to no light pollution to catch a glimpse of green-hued Uranus. To locate Neptune in the line-up will require binoculars and telescopes as it is too faint to be seen with naked-eyes.
Adding to the sky spectacle, watch the Moon join the planet parade from June 17 to June 27, pairing up with individual planets each morning.
Gatherings of the five brighter planets occur only every few years with the last cosmic happening back in 2020 , 2016 and 2005. This celestial gathering of our solar neighbourhood is expected to really capture any skywatcher's attention, which makes this an ideal sky events for showcasing during public stargazing events, or for inspiring young sky enthusiasts and novices to the hobby to look up at the night sky.
Check out a series of planet specific observing guides courtesy of our partners at Celestron.