April’s solar eclipse is far from the last spectacular space event of the year. On June 3rd, a planetary alignment dubbed by the internet as a “planet parade” will occur. Six planets will be visible from our sky in the predawn hours including Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune, Jupiter, and Saturn.

Rare Six Planet Alignment Occurs This Month StarWalk:© Vito Technology, Inc.
Rare Six Planet Alignment Occurs This Month; Photo: StarWalk/ Vito Technology, Inc.

Since planets orbit the sun at different rates depending on their distance from the sun, the planets slowly catch up to each other over time. According to NASA, they appear aligned because they travel along the ecliptic path as they pass Earth.

According to the app StarWalk, the alignment occurs when “planets gather closely on one side of the sun at the same time, as seen from above the solar system” or “when the planets appear close together in a small sky sector, as seen from the Earth.”

Weather permitting, the alignment will be visible from almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Saturn should be visible to the naked eye, but you will need high-powered binoculars to view Uranus and Neptune.

“When the Earth is one of the planets gathered on one side of the Sun, it appears to the observer that several planets are aligned in the sky,” according to StarWalk.

Certain planetary alignments, with two to four planets, are fairly common, occurring several times per year. An alignment with six planets, however, is much less common.

Amateur stargazers hoping to catch a glimpse of this event should keep their eyes and equipment fixed on the eastern horizon just before sunrise. According to the Weather Channel, the East Coast will have the best view of the phenomenon.

StarWalk has also stated that the alignment may not be limited to a single day and that the planets may be spotted for several days before or after June 3rd. StarWalk predicts the next six-planetary alignment after June 3rd will be on August 28th. There will also be a few planetary alignments next year, including a whopping seven-planetary alignment on February 28th, 2025.