Each planet in the solar system is on display for a short time in “Planet Parade”

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Anyone who looked up to the sky Wednesday night might have caught a glimpse of an impressive sight: all the planets of our solar system on display.

The phenomenon, also known as the “planetary parade”, allows people to see the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye. Those with telescopes or binoculars might also see planets further away from Earth, such as Uranus and Neptune.

“The opportunity to see all of the planetary family at a glance doesn’t come often,” said Dr. Gianluca Masi, an astronomer working with the Virtual Telescope Project. Daily mail.

“We have only a couple of days to see this parade before Mercury disappears in the solar flare,” Masi added.

According to Fox Weather, the parade will be viewable through Thursday evening. As noted by Sky & Telescope, on “December 21, the seven planets (and the Moon) will extend [a 146 degree] sky arc. This boils down to [a 135-degree arc] later this year, around the time Mercury leaves the scene.”

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After sunset, the planets will appear in the southern sky in the order of Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Mercury and Venus, according to CBS News.

A clear sky is required to view the planets correctly.

“People should look south about 30 to 45 minutes after sunset to catch Mercury and Venus before they’re too close to the horizon to see them,” said Vahé Peroomian, a professor of astronomy and physics at the University of Southern California. CBS News.

“Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be visible after dark, from southeast to east,” Peroomian added.

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This isn’t the first time multiple planets have been visible simultaneously this year. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were displayed in the sky in that order in June, a rare alignment not seen since December 2004 and not seen again until 2040.

However, Peroomian noted that what’s even more impressive is that Uranus and Neptune were also visible close together in the sky Wednesday night. He said CBS that Neptune and Uranus orbit the sun for about 165 and 84 years, respectively. As a result, the two planets often “spend a lot of time on opposite sides of the Sun from our vantage point.”

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Because Uranus orbits much faster than Neptune, he said, “it won’t be possible to see both planets in the night sky at the same time for several decades.”

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