“Parade of planets” line early morning sky through the end of June

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen each morning through the end of the month

Five planets align in the early morning sky

ROANOKE, Va. – Remember in elementary school when you had to name all the planets?

Your teacher might have taught you the mnemonic device “My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas.”

This, as we came to learn, was to help us remember Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

For the purposes of this article (and our pre-dawn sky the next few days), you’ll only need to remember five of the eight (formerly nine) planets.

In a rare display, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will appear in a line about 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise.

This alignment has happened for much of June. The peak to view this spectacle in space is Friday, June 24. Clouds likely get in the way, but there will be several more opportunities to view before the month comes to a close.

Mercury will be lowest and, therefore, the toughest to see. Next comes Venus, which is often the brightest planet in the sky. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will finish the line from left to right.

If you get any good pictures of the starry quintet, send them to us by clicking here.

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.