How Ontario residents can watch this week’s planetary alignment

Click to play video: '5 planets set to align in rare celestial event'
5 planets set to align in rare celestial event
WATCH: Five planets set to align in rare celestial event – Mar 28, 2023

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, Ontarians will have an opportunity to check out a rare celestial event as five planets are expected to align in view.

“It’ll often happen in the daytime. It might happen in the early morning hours where we can’t see these planets being visible,” University of Guelph researcher Orbax told Global News. “So we just happen to be in a period right now, we’re going to have this real brief opportunity to see it.”

The planets will be in view for about 45 minutes after sunset each night with Tuesday being the best night for viewing.

Orbax said that the planets are all on the same plane, as if they were sitting on a dinner plate.

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“So what that means is that when you look up into the sky at night, when we see planets and when we see multiple planets, they all tend to lie along almost a straight line with each other,” he explained.

Click to play video: 'Venus-Jupiter conjunction causes celestial spectacle'
Venus-Jupiter conjunction causes celestial spectacle

“So every once in a while you see one or two planets, if you take two planets, I mean, it’s very easy to connect the line between two of them,” Orbax noted. “But you’d be surprised when you see a third planet pop up and it lies along that same straight line.”

He said that if you have the right conditions and use binoculars or a telescope you may get a full view of this week’s event.

“You’re going to see Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Uranus all on that same straight line,” he explained, noting that Venus will be bright while Jupiter and Mercury will be right along the horizon.

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“So in that half-hour window, that’s when Mercury and Jupiter are going to sort of drift down below the horizon line a little bit.

He said that Uranus will be the toughest to spot without a telescope.

Orbax suggested that those who are further away from larger cities stand a better chance of spotting the show.

“When you’re stargazing, your major enemies are always light pollution and cloud cover,” he explained.

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