Looks like 2018 is a great year for space enthusiasts. After Super Blue Blood Moon now we will soon witness another rare space activity-Planet Parade. It is a celestial gathering of bright planets and the same will be seen in the sky during this month of March and the best part is that one can see the same with naked eyes. Yes, you read it right. Stargazers don’t need any telescopes to see that planets which are located millions of miles away. The event will start off from March 7 and will end with another celestial event, a Blue Moon on March 31. And every night, the moon will move to 12 degrees to give a clear view of planets. In 2016, we were able to see all the five planets at the same time but this is not happening this year.
About Planet parade
As per NASA, five planets- Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Venus will be seen during this event but not necessarily at the same time and this unique arrangement comes just once in few years. “The Moon will move along this line of stars and planets, showing up …near Jupiter on March 7, between Mars and Jupiter, and above the splendid star Antares on March 8, near Mars on March 9, between Mars and Saturn on March 10, and near Saturn on March 11,” NASA explained.
Where and when to watch the rare event
Space devotees of Northern hemisphere can catch the all the five planets during post and pre-dawn hours. To see Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, directly gaze towards the east as they ascend to your sky from March 7 through March 11. As per earthsky.org, Jupiter can be easily spotted after it rises over the eastern horizon after midnight. However, Mars and Saturn will be dimmer and will not rise till it is close to dawn. Mercury and Venus can be easily spotted after sunset on March 18 and 19. You may easily spot Venus as the planet is ten times brighter than Mercury these days.
How to watch the rare event
As mentioned, we can witness the phenomenon with our naked eyes but if you are unable to do so when you can check out same at NASA, space.com or Earthsky.org on the night of March 7 to catch the live streams of the event. Did you see any of the planets? If yes, let us know in the comments below.