The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

A parade of 7 planets in the evening sky

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Inner Planets feed

Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

All seven planets will be above the horizon at the same time, shortly after sunset. However, Venus and Mercury will be quite tricky to see since they will set very shortly after the Sun. To see them you will need to have a flat western horizon, clear of obstructions such as buildings or trees. At sunset, they will have altitudes of 10.3° and 14.0° respectively.

The planets Neptune and Uranus are too faint to be seen with the unaided eye, and a pair of binoculars or a small telescope is needed to see them. Additionally, since they are no brighter than many stars, a finder-chart is needed to show their positions relative to the surrounding stars. Neptune will lie in the constellation of Aquarius shining at magnitude 7.9; you can find a chart of its position here. Uranus will lie in the constellation of Aries shining at magnitude 5.7; you can find a chart of its position here.

It is relatively rare for all of the planets to be aligned in one hemisphere so as to all be above the horizon at the same moment. Such an alignment between the five planets which are visible to the unaided eye happens roughly once every 6 years, while an alignment that also includes Uranus and Neptune, which require binoculars or a telescope to be seen, happens around once every 70 years.

However, since the planets in the outer solar system – especially Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – move quite slowly through the constellations, such alignments can occur multiple times in quick succession, or not at all for over 100 years.

The positions of all the planets at sunset will be as follows:

Planet Altitude
at sunset
Direction
at sunset
Planet
sets at
Mag Constellation
Venus 10.3° south-west 17:49 -3.9 Sagittarius
Mercury 14.0° south-west 18:11 -0.6 Sagittarius
Saturn 36.5° south-west 20:33 0.6 Capricornus
Neptune 52.9° south 23:00 7.9 Aquarius
Jupiter 54.2° south 23:36 -2.5 Pisces
Uranus 38.3° east 03:09 5.7 Aries
Mars 21.0° east 05:18 -1.5 Taurus

Celestial coordinates

The positions of each of the planets will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Venus 19h01m 23°48'S Sagittarius -3.9 10"2
Jupiter 00h01m 1°18'S Pisces -2.5 39"7
Mars 04h36m 24°45'N Taurus -1.5 15"9
Mercury 19h25m 23°34'S Sagittarius -0.6 6"7
Saturn 21h35m 15°38'S Capricornus 0.6 15"9
Uranus 02h50m 16°00'N Aries 5.7 3"7
Neptune 23h34m 4°06'S Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occurrences

« Previous Objects simultaneously visible Next »
16 Jun 2022 All seven planets 07 Jan 2123
16 Jun 2022 All five planets that are
visible to the unaided eye
13 Apr 2036

The sky on 24 Dec 2022

The sky on 24 December 2022
Sunrise
06:46
Sunset
16:47
Twilight ends
18:16
Twilight begins
05:17

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

6%

1 day old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:11 13:12 18:13
Venus 07:55 12:54 17:52
Moon 08:21 13:19 18:20
Mars 14:54 22:06 05:18
Jupiter 11:37 17:36 23:36
Saturn 09:49 15:11 20:33
All times shown in PST.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

24 Dec 2022  –  Mercury at highest altitude in evening sky
24 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at highest altitude in morning sky
30 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west
11 Apr 2023  –  Mercury at highest altitude in evening sky

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Share

San Diego

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

32.72°N
117.16°W
PDT

Color scheme