Planetary parade on March 28: Five planets to dazzle the night sky

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus will be present in this celestial alignment.
Mrigakshi Dixit
Planets in a row.
Planets in a row.

Wikimedia Commons 

It is the ideal time for stargazers to venture outside and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the night sky. Space enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of the five planets aligning on Tuesday evening, March 28, shortly after sunset.

  1. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus will be present in this celestial alignment. All of these planets can be seen just beneath the shining moon. This formation is sometimes referred to as a planetary parade or alignment. 
  2. Furthermore, the planets will be within 50 degrees of each other, allowing them to be seen close together in a small patch of sky, which makes it a rare occurrence.

Look up at the western horizon

All of the planets will be visible as shining dots in the night sky and will be easy to locate. The moon will appear as a lovely, waning crescent. Simply look at the western horizon after sunset with your own eyes, provided a clear sky and low light pollution.

Venus, the evening star, is the brightest and easiest to spot. Uranus is visible close to Venus. Jupiter and Mercury will be visible just above the horizon in the constellation Pisces. At the same time, Mars will be on top of Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and the moon.

The best time to go outside is soon after sunset, as Jupiter and Mercury will disappear fairly quickly (likely after 45 mins of sundown). Meanwhile, Venus and Uranus will be visible three hours after sunset, while Mars will be visible until after midnight.

To get that perfect view, binoculars or telescopes are recommended. Binoculars can also be used to get a closer look at moon craters.

What’s more? Apart from the planetary parade, sky gazers can also take a look at the Pleiades between Venus and Mars. It is a star cluster popularly known as the seven sisters. Another one to spot is star cluster Messier 35 (M35), located near Mars in the sky, according to the Popular Science report.