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Planetary Parade: What are the Bright ‘Stars’ in the Sky?

Sometimes, things do line up just right. Between March 25 and 30 is one of those times. If you happen to look up at the sky on these nights, some of the “stars” you see are actually planets.

Five planets will be visible in the western night sky late March: Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Uranus, in what is casually called a “planetary parade.”

Jupiter and Mercury will be located close to the horizon, only separated by a degree. Jupiter will appear to the left and brighter than Mercury.


Higher above the horizon, will be Venus and Uranus. The two planets will be about 2° apart and Venus will shine brighter than Uranus.

Lastly, you will be able to spot Mars highest in the sky, faintly, next to the waxing moon.

So what is the best way to spot them? The best night to spot the planets in our solar system will be March 28, even though they will be there the days before and after, according to NASA scientists.

About 25 minutes after the sun sets, grab a pair of binoculars and head outside. You want to be in an open area with as little objects in the way of the sky as possible such as buildings and trees.


Once you have your spot, look towards the horizon with your binoculars to spot the first two planets. The binoculars will help you see the planets through the twilight bruising on the horizon. Once spotted, you can try to see them with your naked eye.

The binoculars will also be helpful in sighting Uranus, as it will be shining less brightly to the naked eye compared to the other planets in the lineup.

The question is, will you spot any or all of the planets on these nights?

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