Take a grand tour of the solar system tonight (Dec. 28) as every of the planets within the solar system might be seen on the identical time.
As 2022 involves an finish, skywatchers can take within the uncommon sight of the entire planets in our solar system (except for Earth) collectively within the sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all at the moment seen concurrently with the bare eye. The two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, can in the meantime be noticed with binoculars or a telescope.
To have fun this wonderful skywatching alternative, the Virtual Telescope Project is internet hosting a free “grand tour of the solar system (opens in new tab)” livestream beginning at 11:00 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Wednesday (Dec. 28). You can watch the stay webcast courtesy of the venture’s web site linked to above, or on their YouTube channel (opens in new tab).
Related: The Christmas night sky 2022: The planets pay a holiday visit
The 5 planets seen with the bare eye — Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, in that order — will line up within the sky ranging from the southwestern horizon. Mercury, the smallest planet within the solar system, might be tough to see with the attention, however it’s doable if darkish sky situations are proper.
Uranus, seen solely via binoculars or a telescope, might be discovered between Mars and Jupiter, whereas Neptune might be seen via optics between Saturn and Jupiter.
Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project, says whereas the incidence of all different planets being seen is not significantly uncommon, it does make for a powerful skywatching alternative. “It happens from time to time, but it is always a spectacular sight,” Masi told Newsweek (opens in new tab).
Such “grand tours” occur roughly each one to 2 years, on common. In June 2022, skywatchers had been handled to 5 planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — arranged in a rare alignment the likes of which hadn’t occurred since 1864.
If you need to try the planets of the solar system and haven’t got all of the gear you want, make sure to not miss our guides for the best binoculars and the best telescopes to view the planets or the rest within the sky. For capturing one of the best skywatching photos you’ll be able to, now we have suggestions for one of the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
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