Parade of Planets on June 3: Where and How to Watch

Planetary Parade featured image
Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
In Short
  • On June 3, six planets are set to line up in such a way at predawn hours that they will be visible to the naked eye, mostly.
  • This phenomenon is called a planetary parade or alignment and will be visible in the eastern sky across the Northern Hemisphere.
  • New York in particular will get a fantastic view of it somewhere in between 5 AM to 5:26 AM PT.

It’s funny how as human beings, we often think of ourselves to be the most important beings in the universe, shunning how miniscule we are in the cosmic scheme of things. The universe doesn’t keep it low profile though, and there are some grand events up there in the sky to constantly remind us of it. The recent solar eclipse or Aurora Borelis are solid examples.

Now, on June 3, something spectacular called a planetary parade or planetary alignment is set to take over the skies. But, what exactly is a planet of parades? Can you watch it and do you need any special equipment for it? Let’s find out!

What Is a Planetary Parade or a Parade of Planets?

Planets are constantly orbiting the Sun and this lets them also cross each other at some point. This causes some planets to be more visible during the evening, and the rest, in the morning. During the planetary parade, two or more of these planets line up in such a way that they’re visible to the naked eye at one specific time during the day. Moreover, this alignment causes the planets to appear closer to each other and more visible.

What makes the June 3 planetary alignment special is that it will see six planets line up facing the sun – Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune, and Saturn. BUT, there are a couple of very important things that you need to note.

Firstly, planetary parades are not exactly a rare phenomenon and occur every few years, and this will not be the only one. Secondly, the stars will not appear larger than normal in the sky on such days, but their alignment makes it easier for us to see them.

The June 3 cosmic event will last throughout the week, and you can go out just before sunrise to see as many stars as you can.

How to View the Parade of Planets on June 3?

I took to the Stellarium website (visit) to get a proper idea of the alignment on that particular day. The space that you see between Saturn and Mars is where Jupiter will appear. Venus will also share the sky with these planets but is too close to the Sun to be visible.

Parade of Planets on June 3: Where and How to Watch
Image Courtesy: Stellarium

During the phenomenon, Saturn will appear yellowish in the Eastern morning sky with Mars halfway below appearing as this red tint. Jupiter and Mercury will be hard to spot, with Neptune and Uranus appearing too faint to view with the naked eye.

That’s where the requirement for high-powered binoculars or a telescope comes in. And, if you’re a Space head like me, you will probably end up getting either of those or both. Sadly, for me, being in India, it will be particularly hard to get a good look at this phenomenon.

However, if you are in New York, you are golden! Between 5 AM to 5:26 AM PT (5:30 PM to 5:56 PM IST), you will be able to see the planetary parade in action up there. To help you keep track of the skies, you can use apps like Star Tracker (Free, Android and iOS).

Star Tracker app interface on Android
Star Tracker on Android

Future Dates of Planetary Parades

As I said before, planetary alignments are not rare, and the June 3-onwards phenomenon is not the only time something like this will happen. You will be able to witness the Planet of Parades at least four more times in the coming year.

On August 28, 2024 and January 18, 2025, you will see six-planet alignments as well. However, you may want to look out for the whopping seven-planet parade on February 28, 2025. There’s another one set to happen on August 29, 2025.

Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong already received their share of this phenomenon on May 30. Athens and Tokyo will get to see it on June 2, and finally, New Yorkers on June 3. The eastern skies across the Northern Hemisphere will be able to see the planetary alignment this time.

While I’ll probably have a tough time getting to see the spectacular event, I’m off to grab some high-powered binoculars! Given how fast life can get, it’s good to have these events keep you grounded in reality about our planet and the world beyond it. So, remember to take a breather and stay healthy, folks! You got this!

Meanwhile, let me know in the comments below if you have further queries related to this, and I’ll try to answer them with the limited knowledge I have.

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