A stargazer's dream! Four planets to align in incredible ‘planet parade’

Virgin Radio

28 Apr 2022, 08:30

Night sky

Credit: Getty

If you look up into the sky tomorrow night (Friday 29th April) then you might see an extraordinary astronomical event. 

Four planets, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will form a perfect row, dubbed a ‘planet parade’, and all should be visible to the naked eye. 

According to the MailOnline, the best time to view this amazing celestial feat is between 5am and 6am just after the planets have risen above the horizon, but before the sun comes up. 

The moon will also align during the last week of April, and Mercury will join in from June, making all five planets visible from Earth. 

The last time the alignment happened was back in 2020, 2016 and 2005, and Royal Museums Greenwich astronomy expert Jake Forster told the publication that there’s no rush on missing the planetary parade. 

All you have to do is “face to the east before sunrise” and look for four bright points of lights, according to Jake. 

He added: “Sunrise will creep ever earlier as the days progress, so it is best to view this alignment sooner rather than later. 

“The tricky part will be catching the planets in the relatively short space of time between when they rise above the horizon and when the Sun follows after them.

“Venus will be noticeably the brightest of all four planets, shining a bright white light. Jupiter will be the second brightest, also shining white in colour. Saturn will be clearly fainter than the other three, due to its much further distance from the sun.

“Mars will have the most distinctive difference from the others because of its colouration, appearing as a bright orange point of light to the naked eye.”

If you’re worried about mistaking a planet for a star, the way to tell the difference is that planets will be bright but won’t twinkle, instead they will shine steadily.

If you’re an early bird and want to be up at 5am, keep an eye out from tomorrow night (24th April) for all four in the planet parade, and the added bonus of Mercury from 24th June.