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5 planets to align in rare celestial event on Friday

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will align in a rare celestial event that won't happen again until 2040

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Editors note: The above video is from June 13

For the first time in 18 years, a rare grouping of planets will be viewable in the night sky... no telescope necessary! 

In order, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will be visible with the naked eye. Mercury may be difficult to see, because of how dim it appears. However, as June progresses, the planet will become brighter as it climbs higher above the horizon.  

What makes this sighting so special is that this is one of the rare times the planets will be visible in their natural order from the Sun. 

This event is not expected to happen again until June 2040. 

The best time to view this rare event appears to be June 24, according to Sky & Telescope magazine. Mercury will be easy to see, making the planetary parade much more enjoyable. 

A waning crescent moon will also be visible the morning of June 24, which will appear between Venus and Mars. 

According to scientists, the best time to look at the sky will be about 45 minutes to one hour before sunrise. 

If it's cloudy skies, don't fret! The event will be viewable the following mornings for roughly two weeks. 

Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will still be visible most mornings throughout July, however the planets will spread out farther as the month goes on. 

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