South Dakota to Witness a Planetary Parade in the Morning Sky
If you love spending time gazing at the night skies, this event was made for you.
A planetary parade not seen since 2004 is about to make its debut once again in the heavens, and the best time to catch it will be just after today's summer solstice.
Through the end of June, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will all be lined up in the early morning sky ready to tantalize every celestial lovers eye.
If you live in South Dakota and wanna check it out, the gang at AccuWeather says you'll need to be an early riser that doesn't mind losing precious sleep. You'll also need a clear, cloud-free, early morning and a wide-open space that has an obstructed free view of the eastern horizon.
If we can get Mother Nature to cooperate and do her part, living in a state like South Dakota should easily afford you plenty of places outside that will give you a great view of the early morning sky. The key, is getting a perfect morning, and finding the perfect spot once you do this rare planetary alignment is supposed to be worth your while.
The last time all five of these planets were visible in the night sky together like this was all the way back in 2004. To illustrate just how long ago that was, 2004 was the same year Facebook was created! And according to the folks at AccuWeather, this same celestial event won't happen again from planet Earth's perspective until August of 2040.
What is the best time to view this planetary parade?
In theory 45 to 60 minutes before sunrise. AccuWeather says the best viewing opportunity will present itself around 4:13 AM (CDT) on Friday (June 24). Again, you'll literally need the stars to align in your favor to give you that optimal viewing morning sky.
If they do, what's really cool, is you should be able to see this unique grouping of planets with just the naked eye, no telescope should be required. However, spotting all five planets could be somewhat tricky experts say.
Supposedly, that little fella Mercury will be playing a pretty effective game of peekaboo at times. Not only is he the smallest planet, but Mercury will also appear on the lowest part of the horizon, which could make viewing it somewhat of a challenge.
As the calendar flips to July, all the planets begin to space out and Mercury will completely leave the early morning sky.
So if you're a stargazer, don't procrastinate. Wake up early, pack up the car, find a spot out in the country and take a peek at this planetary parade before it's too late.
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