Rare Planet Alignment Visible in Texas

The night sky | Image by Pexels/Pixabay

Stargazers in Texas are in for a rare treat in the upcoming week, as a five-planetary alignment that closes out March will be the last of its size this year.

Texas residents can expect to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus in the late-evening sky from Saturday to Thursday. This occurrence is among the last of the celestial events to occur this month, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The best time to view the phenomenon is after sunset on March 28, according to NBC DFW.

The farther away observers can get from the urban glow of Dallas-Fort Worth, the better the view they’ll have. Because of the event’s proximity to the horizon, the best vantage point for observation is one with an unobstructed view of the sunset, with no mountains or tall buildings in the way. Binoculars will also help spot the most distant or smaller planets as they move through the sky.

Those interested in viewing this event should look to the western horizon after sunset, where the five planets will form an arc around the moon.

After sunset, Jupiter and Mercury are expected to appear first, side by side, and will fall below the horizon less than an hour after sunset, according to Science Alert. Uranus and Venus will follow in their wake and set a few hours later.

The red planet Mars should remain visible in the southwestern sky above the crescent moon. Observers can locate this planet above the moon from Saturday-Monday, and below the moon for the remainder of the event.

Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, told Good Morning America that alignments like this are not too rare. According to Cooke, the last four-planet alignment occurred in December 2022.

“You’re worrying that planetary alignments are rare, but honestly, we get one every couple of years,” he said, per Good Morning America.

The ringed gas giant Saturn will also appear in the eastern sky before sunrise on Monday and Tuesday.

Several other smaller alignments are expected to take place throughout the year. The first of these should occur between April 11 and April 24 and feature Mars, Venus, Uranus, and Mercury.

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1 Comment

  1. ThisGuyisTom

    With clear skies, I will give this a look-see.


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