A Parade of Planets Will Align in the June 3, 2024 Early Morning Sky

by Tina Disorbio
A Parade of Planets Will Align in the June 3, 2024 Early Morning Sky

The planetary alignment, or what astronomers call conjunction, according to NASA, will occur across the massive swath of sky in the Northern Hemisphere on June 3, 2024.

One of the solar system’s most fortuitous conga lines occurred in the late 1970s, when the four gas giants—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—formed a neat cosmic column, allowing the Voyager spacecraft to make flybys of all of them. The twin ships performed dazzling science, returning some of the best pictures ever taken of the worlds and discovering moons and rings never before seen.

Things won’t be quite as history-making on June 3, 2024, but they will be eye-popping all the same. It is on that date that stargazers in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world will have their best chance of seeing what is being colloquially called a parade of planets, when six of our solar system’s eight planets (nine if you count little disenfranchised Pluto) will be visible at once in the sky. The half dozen worlds on display will be Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, but they won’t all be easy to spot—and you’ll have to get up early to see them at all. Here’s what to know to take in this latest sky show.

Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn may be spotted with the naked eye around 4:00 AM, but you’ll need a telescope or high-powered binoculars to see Neptune and Uranus.