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See a Parade of Planets Decorate the Predawn Sky This Week

Calling all early risers: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are having a sky party.

Sky map shows constellations and locations of five planets looking southeast at 45 minutes before sunrise on June 24, 2022.
This Sky & Telescope graphic is your guide to seeing five planets at 45 minutes before sunrise on June 24. Note that Mercury is low in the left corner.
Sky & Telescope

Planet parade. Planet party. Planet-palooza. Whatever you want to call it, there will be a lovely lineup of planets visible across the early morning sky this week. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are the stars of the show, but you might get lucky and spot Mercury, too.

The first prime viewing opportunity for this planet-fest was earlier this month, but we're now reaching another excellent time. "All five naked-eye planets will line up in the dawn sky in June. Not only that, they'll also be in their proper order from the sun," Sky & Telescope said in a statement May 31. 

Venus through Saturn should be easy to see if the sky is clear. Mercury is the wild card. Sky & Telescope recommends using binoculars and finding a place with a clear view low toward the east. Just be sure to get out there before the sun rises, with 45 minutes ahead being a sweet spot. Check with Timeanddate.com to find your local sunrise time. 

NASA highlights the morning sky view for June 23 looking southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise.

NASA

The planet shindig is a limited-time affair. "Over the next few months, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus will appear increasingly spread out across the morning sky -- so much so that Venus and Saturn will make their exits as morning objects for most observers by September," NASA said in a June skywatching update. Mark your calendar for June 23, when NASA says the crescent moon will join the line dance. If you're out at 45 minutes before sunrise, you should see it hanging out near Mars. 

Sky & Telescope calls out the morning of June 24 as a good chance to see Mercury along with the other planets. Mercury, the closest planet to the sun in our solar system, should be brighter and easier to find at this time. If you get up super-early only one morning this month, then choose the 24th so you can catch both Mercury and the moon as they join the other planets to make a string of celestial gems.  

Think of these planets like Pokemon and try to collect them all. Most of them should be easy to see, but Mercury is like Noibat, a rarer prize. Enjoy the show.