March 28, grab your binoculars: Five planets visible in night sky

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This should be a pretty incredible sight!

From Daily Mail:

“Stargazers are in for a treat later this month as five planets of the solar system will be visible from Earth as part of a rare planetary alignment. On March 28, JupiterMercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus are expected to line up together in a small section of the sky shortly after sunset.

Two of the brighter planets – Mercury and Jupiter – will be noticeable near the horizon, while Venus is expected to shine higher in the sky. Although binoculars will be needed to spot Uranus, Mars should be viewable in the alignment near to the first quarter of the moon.

While it is not unusual to see two or three planets in the sky, an alignment of five is less common. It happened last year, and in both 2020 and 2016 prior to that. 

To easily identify the planets this month, the educational astronomy application Star Walk recommends using the app Sky Tonight, which can be pointed at the night sky to give a live display of what is going on. 

The planets are expected to be aligned in a 50-degree sky sector, which means that they will appear closer together from Earth in a small area above.

Beth Biller, of the University of Edinburgh, told MailOnline that some planets would be much easier to see than others. She said: ‘Venus and Jupiter are both very bright and easy to pick out and you may have already seen them close together over the past few weeks. (We saw them both, it was pretty ccool.)

‘Mars is a bit fainter, but still easily observed with the naked eye. Mercury starts getting tricky – you need to be at a dark site with a clear view of the horizon if you want to see Mercury. ‘Uranus is the faintest and hardest to see – you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to see Uranus.’

Senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope, Rick Fienberg, also stressed that seeing all five planets at the same time on March 28 may be difficult and will depend on a person’s location. 

‘Unless you have a clear sky and a nearly flat western horizon free of obstructions such as trees or buildings, you won’t see Jupiter and Mercury,’ he said of those in the US while speaking to FOX 35.

While specialist equipment may be needed to spot Uranus, Mr Fienberg claimed that the five planets should be viewable with binoculars.”

Read the whole story here.

If you are interested, visit Astronomy for all things related to the stars and planets.

DCG

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Brian Heinz
Brian Heinz
6 days ago

I know when we have a full moon crazy things happen wonder if this would be the same way? Naw then biteme would blame that on trump too lol. But sure is strange that many at once.

greenworxx
greenworxx
6 days ago

I hope my area will have clear weather that night. I live in the mountains of NC and we get a lot of fog.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 days ago

A mite off-topic, but you know cats…
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Last edited 3 days ago by Anonymous