Clear skies across mid-Island allowing for unobstructed view of rare planetary alignment | NanaimoNewsNOW

No special equipment is needed to spot the stellar phenomena, with all being easily bright enough to be visible with the naked eye.

Arkos said they’ll even be visible in more populated city areas, although he suggested getting away from light pollution for the best effect.

“Just before the sun comes up is when you have your best chance to catch all of these planets,” Arkos added. “The trickiest one is going to be Mercury because it’s very close to the sun in the sky so you have to wait literally until the sun is just about to rise to catch a glimpse of Mercury in the glow of the sun.”

The event peaks ahead of sunrise on Friday, meaning those wanting to catch a glimpse should set an alarm for 4 am and be in position by 4:30 am looking eastward.

A clear view of the sky to the horizon from the northeast to southeast is key.

With little cloud in the forecast, stargazers will have the opportunity to see variations of the alignment with the moon until June 27th.

The planetary alignment will be visible in varying degrees until July 6 when Mercury will disappear in the light of the sun.

“You’ll see them shifting as time goes on because of course they move at different rates in the sky so they won’t maintain that particular configuration exactly, it’ll change over time,” Arkos said.

Following this planetary alignment event, the attention of Arkos and his fellow astronomers turns to the James Webb deep space telescope, due to release his first official images on July 12.

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