Thursday, March 30, 2023

Get Out! Last Few Days to See the Five Planet Parade

Image from
by Peggy Robin

The Five Planet Parade -- also called an alignment -- started at the beginning of the week and is continuing every night through the end of the week. On a clear, dark night, five planets - Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Uranus - will form an arc that you should be able to see with the naked eye in the westerly sky, as long as you are away from any light pollution, tree cover, or other obstructions.

If you have a telescope or a good pair of binoculars the view will be even better. And, as Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang, remind us, "don’t forget to take a peek at the moon, too!" (Quoted in "How to watch 5 planets align in the night sky this week" in the Washington Post.

If you miss it in real life, you can see it on video at (scroll down to the video) or watch directly on YouTube at: 

Want a bit more technical information on how to view the alignment, plus some background and a lot of other science-y-stuff? Best site I've found is this one:    

You may want to download the Sky Tonight star watching app on your phone to have with you if you go out to a field with binoculars. That way you'll know which way to face and what you're seeing. Learn more about the app here: 

What if you miss the Planet Parade entirely? Never fear! There's always next the year 2040! Starwalk News tells us what to expect 17 years on:

"On September 8, 2040, five naked-eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) will be within a circle of 9 degrees in the sky. The crescent Moon will also be visible, positioned between Venus and Saturn. The best time for observations will be around 19:30 local time. (Source:


The "Get Out!" event of the week is posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.

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