Five planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, aligned in the southeastern sky in the month of June, 2022. On Friday, June 24, the planetary conjunction will peak. They will be joined by the crescent moon. 

Why is June 24 a key date for the planetary alignment?

On Friday, the planet parade, along with the moon, will be easily visible to the naked eye. As per monthly American magazine Sky&Telescope, Mercury is expected to rise about an hour before the sun, giving observers ample time to get a glimpse of the phenomenon that last took place in 2004. The conjunction will not be seen again until 2040. 

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Professor Lucie Green, Space Scientist and Chief Stargazer, who works at the University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, the five planets will look like a string of pearls spread out from close to the horizon.

When and where can one watch the phenomenon? 

The best time to see the 2022 alignment will be between 3:39 AM and sunrise at 4:43 AM on the morning of 24 June 2022 (EST), as per BBC Science Focus. 

Sky & Telescope said that the best time is 45 minutes before sunrise. It will remain visible until June 27 from most parts of the world.

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As per BBC, Saturn will lead the five planets by raising around 23.21 PM local time in New York. 

NASA states that over the next few months ‘Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and Venus will spread out. By September, Venus and Saturn will no longer be visible to most observers’.

People will also be able to see the M13 globular star cluster in June. It is a tightly packed spherical collection of stars

“The M13, also known as the Hercules Cluster, contains thousands of stars, which are thought to be around 12 billion years old — almost the age of the universe itself,” NASA says.