Every Planet In the Solar System Will Be Visible Tonight

Technology /

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Space.com: Take a grand tour of the solar system tonight (Dec. 28) as each of the planets in the solar system will be visible at the same time. As 2022 comes to an end, skywatchers can take in the rare sight of all of the planets in our solar system (aside from Earth) together in the sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all currently visible simultaneously with the naked eye. The two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, can meanwhile be observed with binoculars or a telescope.

The five planets visible with the naked eye — Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, in that order — will line up in the sky starting from the southwestern horizon. Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, will be difficult to see with the eye, but it’s possible if dark sky conditions are right. Uranus, visible only through binoculars or a telescope, can be found between Mars and Jupiter, while Neptune will be visible through optics between Saturn and Jupiter. The Virtual Telescope Project is hosting a free “grand tour of the solar system” livestream starting at 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT) on Wednesday (Dec. 28). The live webcast is also available on their YouTube channel.

The report notes that this “grand tour” happens roughly every one to two years, on average. “In June 2022, skywatchers were treated to five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — arranged in a rare alignment the likes of which hadn’t occurred since 1864,” the report adds.

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