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Viewing Planetary Alignment on June 3

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#1 Nautilus

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 09:17 PM

Another wonderful spectacular will occur this June 3 when the orbits of Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune and Saturn will bring the six planets to the same side of the sun.

 

We plan to take our Orion ST80 out to view this event but want to minimize what we carry out in the way of accessories.

 

Thus the question, "What would be the optimal viewing magnifications for this event given this scope's limitations?"

 

Happy viewing on June 3 everyone.


Edited by Nautilus, 28 May 2024 - 09:17 PM.

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#2 WillR

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 09:41 PM

I would say binoculars would be optimal or the lowest power eyepiece you have. 


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#3 KBHornblower

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 10:21 PM

They are on the same side now.  What is so special about June 3?


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#4 MikiBee

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 11:09 AM

All seven planets are west of the Sun at the moment in a relatively narrow stretch of the sky of about 90 degrees. However the proximity to the Sun of Venus and Jupiter puts them into a dangerous category for any kind of observing. The rest of the planets could be visible in the morning sky if you are in lower latitudes as the ecliptic angle (with the horizon) is quite shallow.

 

For mid-latitude northern observers even Mercury and Uranus are out of question, so I would say that this alignment is quite symbolic unless you are deep in Southern hemisphere.


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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 02:34 PM

This so-called planetary alignment is being blown way out of proportion.  Essentially only Saturn, Mars, and the crescent Moon will be visible to the naked eye and Uranus and Neptune will be very difficult to see with a telescope low in a brightening sky.  Mercury and Jupiter will be very close to the rising Sun.

https://www.space.co...ble-june-3-2024

Here's a screen capture from Stellarium showing the eastern sky from 40 degrees north at 4:30 a.m. EDT.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Planets and the Moon 6-3-24 AM Processed Resized 900.png

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#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 02:55 PM

This screencap shows the sky at 5:00 a.m. EDT with the horizon removed.

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  • Jupiter and Mercury Screenshot 6-3-24 5 AM Resized 900.png

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#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 02:56 PM

This one shows the sky at 5:30 a.m. EDT.  Mars is in brackets.

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  • Mars and the Moon 6-3-24 Prior to Sunrise Resized 900.png

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#8 bunyon

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 03:18 PM

I try to patiently and kindly explain to folks who ask me that the planets are always aligned. They orbit in the ecliptic, with us, so they're always in a line. A simple conjunction of Venus and the Moon, or Jupiter and the Moon, will be far, far more visually appealing than these periodic "planetary alignments". 

 

Of course, last month I assured everyone I know that they would only see aurora from a dark site and that it was very unlikely to happen anyway, so my street cred is pretty low.


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#9 Japetus Eye

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 04:35 PM

Yes... The different conjunctions that are going to occur in June will be very complicated (and risky) to see due to their proximity to the Sun...

 

I think that the best in planetary will come in the middle of the northern summer... On July 15 it opens with the Mars-Uranus conjunction in Taurus, about 35' arc away. On the 30th of that same month we will have the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus.

 

The best comes in August. On the 5th above the western horizon, very shortly after sunset, the Moon will be in conjunction with Venus about 2º away.

On the 14th and 15th we will have the very close conjunction of the year between Mars and Jupiter in Taurus (approx. 20 arcmin), so they can be seen in the field of view of most of our telescopes at good magnification (>150x) .

On August 21 comes one of the most anticipated events of the year, the occultation of Saturn by the 16-day Moon, visible in parts of Central and South America, Africa and Europe.

And at the end of the same day, occultation of Neptune by the Moon, visible in much of Africa, and parts of Europe and Asia.

At the end of the month begins the best time to observe Saturn (which will be in opposition on September 8).

 

As something nice to highlight, on December 5 there will be a very close passage of Mars (already close to its retrograde) by the Beehive cluster (M44) in Cancer.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 0821saturn.jpg
  • 0821neptune.jpg

Edited by Japetus Eye, 29 May 2024 - 04:53 PM.

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#10 CarolinaBanker

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 04:59 PM

My sister had reached out to me about this and I got to break the news that for her location in New England it would be disappointing.
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#11 KBHornblower

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 07:11 PM

This could be something that was hyped by a "talking head" tasked with filling up an overabundance of television news time.  As has been pointed out, it is geometrically unfavorable for viewing in mid-northern latitude.

 

Following is a screen capture from Stellarium showing an evening grouping on March 1, 1940.  The inclination of the ecliptic to the horizon is near maximum for this latitude, about 39N, making it extremely favorable.  The five bright planets span about 40 degrees.  My dad saw it from Washington, DC, on or near this date.

 

Planets 3-1-1940.jpg


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#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 29 May 2024 - 11:36 PM

A far better planetary alignment than the one on June 3rd took place during middle of June in 2022.

 

https://www.space.co...ching-june-2022


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#13 JohnTMN

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 12:37 AM

Another wonderful spectacular will occur this June ,

Uhm(?) No, it really doesn't

It's media hype,

It all occurs so close to sunrise that anything interesting will be lost.

Don't worry, it'll happen again

There are "event's" that are worth seeing, but June 3rd ain't gonna be a good one.


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#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 12:42 AM

There was also one in December of 2022.

 

https://earthsky.org...-december-2022/

 

https://stardate.org...cast/2022-12-24

 



#15 SNH

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 06:51 AM

Technically, June 3rd is the last day for the "alignment" since Venus will pass behind the Sun the next day. In my opinion, this kind of stuff, where something mundane with no astronomical significance is hyped up by the media, has to be coming from astrology, which is an major underlying theme for a lot of folks. It's sad because this alignment means nothing if you are not on Earth. So, as usual, it's astrologers trying to fight to keep Earth as the center of the Universe.

 

Scott H.


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#16 WillR

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 08:40 AM

Now that I have read more about the June 3 alignment I realize it’s a bit of a “nothingburger”. So I’d like to add to my previous suggestion that if you do use binoculars, be exceedingly careful, because a couple of the planets are very close to the sun.



#17 KBHornblower

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Posted 30 May 2024 - 08:48 AM

On February 5, 1962, all seven of what the ancient Greeks called planets were bunched over a 17 degree span of the sky, and included a total solar eclipse.  The five bright planets straddled the Sun and were pretty much unobservable.  One of my 8th grade classmates was superstitious about this one on astrology grounds.



#18 Japetus Eye

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 05:58 PM

My sister had reached out to me about this and I got to break the news that for her location in New England it would be disappointing.

North America in general is not very lucky this year in Saturn occultations... The one with the best visibility may be on September 17, but it will be on the west coast (and Hawaii)...



#19 Japetus Eye

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 06:14 PM

Planetary conjunctions, beyond the celestial spectacle and their improbable astrological effects, as orbital alignments have consequences for the entire Solar System that we do not perceive, but that are there, since they make the entire system revolve around a barycenter that is often displaced outside, and even far, from the volume of our star. There are astrophysicists who relate the "tidal effect" of the planets (especially Jupiter) on the Sun with their short and medium-term activity cycles (and we do perceive that), although they are only hypotheses...

 

https://youtu.be/1mf...RTw8B0_ZZfKoO1V



#20 Shane1200

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Posted 31 May 2024 - 11:19 PM

Our club website received a email from a non-member asking if our club was going to set up telescopes for this event.  I told her no, we would not be setting up telescopes and suggested she could see it from her yard using binoculars or take a picture with her cell phone.  To be honest no one in our club had mentioned the event and I had seen a news headline but didn't read the article, putting the story in the media hype category like "purple super moon".  I have now read an article in a live science and I think I will need to warn the emailer about using binoculars with Mercury and Jupiter being close to the sun.   


Edited by Shane1200, 31 May 2024 - 11:21 PM.

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#21 justfred

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 05:49 AM

Clouds… At 4AM the skies were clear from the back deck here at home so I thought I’d try for the planetary alignment this morning. The view to the east is covered with trees so I set the little 90mm Mak, Tristand, and folding stool in the SUV and drove the 1/2 mile down the road to our church. I could see a waning crescent moon through the trees as I left the neighborhood but by the time I got to the church parking lot - 4:30AM - the clouds had rolled in. Astronomy in the Southeast. The alignment will be visible for the next few mornings but the moon and Mercury will have moved too close to the rising Sun. The other 5 planets will still be worth a look, and will be around till September with Venus and Mercury joining them from time to time, weather permittingsmile.gif  



#22 NinePlanets

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 07:28 AM

At least the hype this time wasn't as bad as "The Great Alignment".

 

Was that in 1982? It was all over the media for at least a year or more about how "all the planets would be in a straight line at once and the tidal pull on the sun would end it all..." etc.

 

I worked in a telescope store at the time and the comments by astrological whackos who wandered in were never ending. Just like comet Kohoutek and Halley's, it was nothing, really. If memory serves (caveat) the "alignment" in reality was that all the planets were within an 89 or 90 degree arc. No big deal. No one would even notice it.


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#23 Nankins

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 08:09 AM

I have zero interest in these things any more, because as an amateur astronomer seeing the planets (1) is a common thing and (2) I know which planets are visible to the naked eye and which ones are not.  Yesterday I had two people (1 was a friend, another a family member) tell me about the alignment.  Both were excited about it.  One I just ignored, the other I responded with an "I'm not interested even though this type of alignment is rare" and also some stuff about how disappointing this would be to most people.  I told about what happens with comets when they get picked up by the media.  Pretty similar to this situation.  

 

There was one planetary alignment in April that would have been something to see.  I forget which date but all 7 planets plus the Sun and Moon were lined up looking East from Jerusalem at dawn on one of the feast days.  Apparently a 1 in 32 million years chance of that happening. 



#24 Nankins

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Posted 03 June 2024 - 08:11 AM

I did see the alignment of 5 planets in the morning sky 2 years ago.  That was one alignment that did not disappoint.



#25 Jub

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Posted 06 June 2024 - 10:17 AM

Of course it was completely clouded over and we were unable to see anything 




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