DR. SKY BLOG

Arizona sky watchers will see alignment of 5 planets in early-morning skies

Jun 15, 2022, 2:00 PM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

Our great Arizona skies offer up a rare celestial treat, of sorts!

It is rare to see in one viewing session a lineup of just a few planets, but even more unusual to see five of the major planets in proper order from the sun.

That is what is going to occur this week in our northeastern sky before dawn.

While most of the major planets have been in the morning sky since the start of 2022, these objects have moved rapidly in various types of conjunctions.

Look low in the northeastern sky around one hour before local sunrise to view this rather rare planetary alignment.

We begin with Mercury, the nearest planet to the sun. Mercury will be at its best elongation by Thursday. It will be low near the horizon, 23 degrees from the sun.

Follow a path to the upper right of Mercury and we come to the bright planet Venus.

In true form, Venus lies some 67 million miles from the sun. We now continue our journey to the upper right of Venus and come to Mars. Mars is getting brighter in the sky and is our next planet away from the sun.

The show continues by moving to the right of Mars. We now come to the giant planet Jupiter. In the exact place of the next planet away from the sun, Jupiter lies some 500 million miles away.

And finally, some 20 degrees to the right of Jupiter, we visit Saturn. Easy to view with the naked eye, this brings us to our special planetary alignment in our Arizona skies.

Here is finder chart to help you locate and enjoy this special event and another.

An event like this has not happed for some 18 years, don’t miss it.

The extra bonus will be the moon moving into the early morning sky by June 21, adding to the fun.

Clear skies!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Podcasts are available here.

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Arizona sky watchers will see alignment of 5 planets in early-morning skies