It is not unusual to see two or three planets close together in the same region of the sky. However, it is unusual to be able to observe five planets at the same time. In the Northern Hemisphere, the last conjunction of five planets occurred in December 2004.
It is an exceptional month of June, when all the planets of the solar system can be seen in the sky! We are even able to see Uranus and Neptune using a small telescopenotes Olivier Hernandez, director of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal.
rows of planets
As of June 9, conditions are set to observe all planets with the naked eye, with the Moon as a bonus.
However, only during the second part of the month will it be distributed in a more uniform way and that it will be possible to see the line stretching more and more.
First, locate the planet Venus
The planet, nicknamed the Evening Star, is the brightest star in the sky. At the moment, Venus is not very high in the sky. They can be seen very clearly in the clear sky, along the northeast-northeast horizon in the morning between 4 am and sunrise.
Other easily distinguishable planets are Jupiter and Mars, which have a slightly orange glow. But the real challenge for amateur astronomers is to find Mercury, which is not easily noticeable.
With your eagle eye
June, but the sun rises right after that, which is not optimal. The ideal is from 15June until the end of the month “,” text “,” We are able to see Mercury from June 9, but the sun rises a little later, which is not optimal. The ideal is from June 15th until the end of the month “}}”>We are able to see Mercury from June 9, but the sun rises right after that, which is not optimal. The ideal is from June 15th until the end of the monthOlivier Hernandez explains.
” You really have to look toward the very clear east-northeast horizon and be a little bit high up to see Mercury. »
If it is ideally observed outside of major urban centers, it can still be seen from Montreal provided you find a very conspicuous spot, such as Mount Royal.
To maximize your chances of seeing Mercury, it is recommended that you be at your best point between 30 and 45 minutes before sunrise to allow your eyes to adjust to the brightness.
Weather conditions should also be perfect
reveal Mercury appears as a very small dot and with low brightness, two properties that make the planet
As far as what we can see with the naked eyewarns Mr. Hernandez.
” It is enough that there are strong temperature discrepancies when the sun rises to obliterate the atmosphere and make observation impossible. »
Ideally, as of June 16, Mercury will be visible below and to the left of the radiant planet Venus. If you can spot Mercury, the challenge of observing the enfilade is complete, as other planets are easier to identify.
Another way to find Mercury is to locate the Pleiades, a star cluster located between the planet and Venus.
” The Pleiades, resembling a small bear, allow us to observe Mercury, looking a little lower above the horizon. »
in the telescope
Olivier Hernandez recalls that using a telescope will make it possible to better see the five planets, but also to observe other planets not visible to the naked eye, Neptune (between Jupiter and Saturn) and Uranus (between Venus and Mars).
The International Space Station invites itself to the negotiating table
Also, for those who get up around 4 AM from June 26 through June 30, it is possible to see the International Space Station passing very clearly in the sky just above all the planets (best seen on June 28 at 4:16 AM).
The International Space Station takes the form of a large white dot that moves very fast. It can be observed in urban areas despite light pollution.
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