UK stargazers can see rare seven planet alignment from Friday
What astronomers often term a 'planetary parade' is to take place in our skies starting on Friday, the first time in 18 years
UK stargazers will be in 'seventh heavens' on Friday as a rare celestial event takes place. For the first time in 18 years, seven planets will be in alignment.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus will form what astronomers often term a 'planetary parade'. The best time to look out for them will be about half an hour before sunrise from June 24 to June 27.
Five of the planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – will be visible to the naked eye on Friday. The remaining two – Uranus and Neptune – will be too dim to see unaided but you could spot them with binoculars or a telescope by around June 27.
The seven planets have not appeared in the same line across the horizon since December 2004. Astronomer and founder of Stargazing London, Tom Kerss, told the Sun newspaper: "It's well worth setting an early alarm and peering out from your garden, or any south/east-facing window or balcony available to you.
"The planets are easy to pick out even in the relatively light summer sky. Unlike stars, they don't appear to twinkle, and Mars is noticeably orange, whereas Saturn is faintly golden."