Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Mercury and Uranus will line up on June 17 (Joe Giddens/PA)
PA Archive/PA Images - Joe Giddens
Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn will line up at dawn on Saturday, with some visible to the naked eye.
Early risers with a good view of the horizon will get the best chance of spotting the alignment, also known as a planetary parade.
While Jupiter and Saturn will be easy to spot, Neptune and Uranus may require binoculars and Mercury will be visible for a short space of time.
Don Pollacco, a professor at the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, said: “While Jupiter and Saturn will be easy to spot by eye, Mercury will be more challenging as its proximity to the sun means that it is only just above the horizon and visible about an hour before sunrise.
Jupiter and Saturn will be bright objects that have a yellowy colour, Mercury often looks pink, and Uranus and Neptune pale white-green
Prof Don Pollacco
“Neptune and Uranus need binoculars to be sure of seeing them – although some keen-sighted people can see Uranus unaided.
“Jupiter and Saturn will be bright objects that have a yellowy colour, Mercury often looks pink, and Uranus and Neptune pale white-green.”
Alignments occur when the planets in the solar system are all roughly positioned in the same direction when viewed from Earth.
Saturn will be the first to rise, followed by Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus and Mercury.
Prof Pollacco said: “Given that we understand the orbits of the planets, we can predict when these ‘alignments’ will occur.
“While the planets may look relatively close together in the sky they are of course separated by many millions of miles.”
The next five-planet alignment will take place on April 20 2024, which will be a morning parade with Venus, Mercury, Neptune, Mars, and Saturn.