August 18, 2022

You can watch the rare 5-planet alignment in a live webcast for free today

You can watch the rare 5-planet alignment in a live webcast for free today
You can watch the rare 5-planet alignment in a live webcast for free todayYou can watch the rare 5-planet alignment in a live webcast for free today

You can watch the five naked-eye planets align for free on a livestream that will be running Sunday (June 26).

Throughout June, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up from left to right in the southeastern sky, in their orbital order from the sun. Our guide tells you all you need to know about catching this 5-planet parade firsthand, but if your skies don’t cooperate, you can also watch online for free. The webcast comes courtesy of the Virtual Telescope Project (opens in new tab) and begins at 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday (0230 GMT Monday, June 27) with a view from Rome.

“Seeing the whole planetary family of the sun at a glance is a rare event, especially with the planets aligned accordingly with their increasing distance from our star,” project founder Gianluca Masi said in a statement.

Related: The brightest planets in June’s night sky: How to see them (and when) 

A view of 5 planets aligned in the morning sky with labels.

The five naked-eye planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are in alignment in this poster for a Virtual Telescope Project event June 26, 2022. (Image credit: Virtual Telescope Project)

While noting the naked-eye worlds are most apparent, there are other things to look out for as well, Masi said. 

“The moon will join the show, too, with the Earth on the foreground. But there is more: planets Uranus and Neptune will be easily visible through a binocular, offering the rare opportunity to see all the eight planets within a few minutes.”

The alignment is taking place because the Earth and the major solar system planets all orbit along the ecliptic, which is the plane of our solar system. The moon, sun and large planets all run in a band across our planet’s sky and line up frequently (generally with fewer worlds at a time) within our field of view, although in reality they are separated by millions of miles.

If you’re looking for a telescope or binoculars to see alignments like this event, our guides for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now can help. Our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to prepare to capture the next stargazing sight in a photo.

Editor’s note: If you take a photograph of the five-world fiesta, let us know! You can send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Facebook (opens in new tab)