Five planets align in rare celestial event

The celestial alignment will feature Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus

The best day to spot the planetary alignment is Tuesday, March 28, immediately after sunset. AP
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Stargazers will again be able to witness a rare celestial event this week in which five planets will align.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus will line up, lighting up the night skies in many parts of the world.

In the UAE, Monday evening was the best time to observe the planetary alignment, but it will also be wholly visible on Tuesday and slightly so for the rest of the week, with a telescope.

The astronomical event occurs when planets move closer to each other on one side of the Sun at the same time.

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"On the evening of March 28, five planets — Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Mars — will gather within a small 50-degree sky sector," said Starwalk Space, a company that runs an astronomy mobile app.

"They will be located in the constellation Pisces, separated by about one degree.

"Higher up in the sky, Venus will shine brightly with a magnitude of minus 4.0 in the constellation Aries.

"If you use a pair of strong binoculars, you’ll see Uranus nearby, shining with a magnitude of 5.8 at a distance of about 2 degrees from Venus.

"Mars will join the alignment higher in the sky, near the first quarter Moon in the constellation Gemini."

The five-planet array will be visible from anywhere on Earth where there are clear skies.

Last year, a similar celestial event took place, in which Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn lined up in their natural order from the Sun.

That alignment in June was the first for 18 years and was visible to the naked eye around the world, including in the UAE.

Updated: March 28, 2023, 11:59 AM