Skywatchers who rise before dawn this week will get a chance to peep a cosmic treat.
With the naked eye, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen lined up across the southeastern sky before sunrise, with Saturn appearing to move steadily toward Mars each day, according to NASA.
The lineup began to be visible around Sunday morning and is a prelude to a super-close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter – the two brightest planets in the sky – on April 30.
Though the planets appear to be moving close together, they are actually far apart in space. It’s just that our view of them across the solar system changes from month to month.
“If you recall the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the end of 2020, these conjunctions are not quite as close as that, but still really impressive and they’ll make for thrilling sights in the morning sky,” NASA stated. “So definitely try to catch them if you can!”
For the best chance at seeing the four lined-up planets in the Northern Hemisphere, head outside about an hour before the sun rises and look in the direction of the sunrise to the southeast.
Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn will appear “strung out in a line across the morning sky,” according to NASA. If conditions are clear, stargazers won’t need binoculars or telescopes to see them.
According to EarthSky, they can also be seen before sunrise in the Southern Hemisphere, though they will appear higher above the sunrise point since the sun’s path in the sky there is at a steeper angle to the horizon compared to in the Northern Hemisphere.
In both hemispheres, Jupiter will be the second-brightest planet in planetary alignment but will appear lowest on the horizon, but that will change as the month continues, said NASA.