Alignment of the planets 2023: our observation tips

Alignment of the planets 2023 our observation tips

ALIGNMENT OF THE PLANETS. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars are currently aligned in space and good news: this phenomenon is visible to the naked eye! At what time ? And under what conditions of observation?

[Mis à jour le 29 mars 2023 à 18h36] A large nocturnal alignment of planets is currently on the program since Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars are observable in a 50 degree sector of the sky. A real godsend for astronomy enthusiasts. The ideal time to observe this alignment of planets is a little before sunset to get a front row seat. The alignment takes place above the horizon for one hour. A clear horizon is recommended.

This grand alignment of planets is visible for several days after March 28, reports Starwalk Space. With suitable weather and always a clear horizon, it is still possible to see this wonderful celestial spectacle until the end of the week!

Ideally, place yourself in a place where the sky is clear and spared from light pollution. You can start your observation a little before the Sun goes to bed. You then have an hour to admire the planets before Jupiter and Mercury disappear behind the horizon. Although some planets are visible to the naked eye, it is advisable to equip yourself with a telescope or a pair of binoculars to make the most of this parade.

To identify the different stars that will take part in the show, you can use an application like Sky Tonight (on App Store And Google Play) or StarWalk (on App Store And Google Play). Start by identifying Venus, also known as the Evening Star. Particularly bright, you should have no trouble recognizing it. At his side, you can find Uranus, visible through binoculars. A little higher in the sky, Mars will be the highest planet in the alignment. As you descend along the imaginary axis formed by these planets, you should come across Jupiter and Mercury, which will be near the western horizon.

What is the alignment of the planets?

A planetary alignment is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when multiple planets come together on one side of the Sun. This is an optical illusion since the planets are not actually aligned in three dimensions of space. On the other hand, as they all revolve around the Sun in the same plane called the ecliptic, these planets align in the terrestrial sky.

When the stars are aligned?

Observed from Earth, the planets line up in the sky when they are on the same side of the Sun so that they are visible in the Earth’s sky. We commonly observe up to three or even four planets aligned but it happens from time to time that they are more numerous to join the spectacle. We then speak of a grand planetary alignment or a complete grand planetary alignment if all the planets of the solar system are at the rendezvous.

When will all the planets be in perfect alignment?

It is extremely rare for all the planets in the solar system to line up in the sky. Indeed, for this it is necessary that all these stars are found on the same side of the Sun and are placed in such a way that they are visible from the Earth. This is called a complete grand planetary alignment. The last alignment of this type took place in June 2022 and the next one is scheduled for 2124. We will have to be patient!

What is a parade of planets?

While planetary alignment is an astronomical concept that refers to the fact that several planets group together on one side of the Sun, the term parade is a more familiar term to speak of the simultaneous presence of several planets in the Earth’s sky. Parry is therefore the consequence of planetary alignment. This is the spectacle observed from Earth.

​​​​​When will the next alignment of the planets be?

Here are the dates of the next planetary alignments that you can admire from Earth in 2023:

  • On April 11, you can observe the small alignment of Mercury, Uranus, Venus and Mars.
  • On April 24, there will be a small alignment of Mercury, Uranus, Venus and Mars.
  • On May 29, the planets Uranus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn will form a small alignment.
  • On June 17, you can admire the grand alignment of Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn.
  • On July 26, there will be a mini alignment of Mercury, Venus and Mars
  • On August 24, two successive alignments will take place during the night. This is the mini alignment of Mercury, Mars and Saturn at the beginning of the night then the small alignment of Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn.