Every planet in the solar system will be visible in the rare “planet parade” on Wednesday.

Every planet in the solar system will be visible in the rare “planet parade” on Wednesday.

Every planet in the solar system will be visible in the rare “planet parade” on Wednesday.

The solar system’s planets will line up in the sky Wednesday night in an astronomical phenomenon, visible from Earth, known as a “planet parade.”

The phenomenon, which was also visible Tuesday evening, gives skywatchers a good view of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye. Uranus and Neptune can also be seen with binoculars or a telescope.

The planet parade is not an extremely rare event – it usually happens at least every few years. In fact, the alignment of eight planets last occurred in June-.

To see the phenomenon, it is recommended to look south after sunset. From east to west, the planets appear in this order: Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Mercury, Venus.

“People have to look south about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset to catch Mercury and Venus before they’re too close to the horizon to observe,” said Vahé Perroomian, a professor of astronomy and physics at the University of South Africa. California. “Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible as soon as it gets dark, from southeast to east.”

Planets can appear together in the same part of the sky as they orbit the sun, Perroomian told CBS News.

“Mercury completes one orbit in 88 days and Venus in 225 days. The outer planets move much more slowly: Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit the sun, Saturn takes 29,” he said. “So, as long as Jupiter and Saturn are visible, which happens unless they’re on opposite sides of the sun from our vantage point, the remaining planets will eventually line up.”

It is a greater achievement for Neptune and Uranus to be visible at the same time, as they take 165 years and 84 years respectively to orbit the sun.

Both planets “spend considerable time on opposite sides of the sun from our vantage point,” Perroomian said.

On Wednesday night, Uranus and Neptune will be relatively close together, but because Uranus moves around the sun twice as fast as Neptune, the planets will move further away from each other, he said.

As a result, “it won’t be possible to see both planets in the night sky at the same time for decades,” Perroomian added.



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