The Rare Planet Alignment You Need To Watch Out For This Month

Several planets in our solar system are lining up this month, with NASA explaining that the four astral bodies will continue to be visible through the rest of April 2022. The convergence started with Venus, Mars, and Saturn appearing to make a line across the early morning sky at the beginning of April. Jupiter later joined the ranks around the middle of the month.

Unlike such events detailed in works of fiction, this planetary alignment doesn't open extra-dimensional portals and, technically, it's not really an alignment, as the celestial bodies aren't actually that close together out in space (they just look like it from here on Earth). While the event won't break the fabric of reality as we know it, it's still pretty significant.

Each of these planets takes a different amount of time to orbit the sun, ranging from 225 days for Venus to 29 of our years for Saturn. With that much of a gap between their completed orbits, it can take decades or more for an arrangement like this to happen — and this is just four of the seven planets in our solar system, not including Earth.

How to see the alignment

The biggest requirement for being able to see this planetary alignment is getting up early — like, really early. NASA recommends taking a look to the southeast about an hour before sunrise (a little after 5 a.m. Eastern time). Assuming the sky is relatively clear and there aren't too many harsh city lights around, this will be when the planets are the easiest to spot.

As for hardware, the good news is you may not need any. You should be able to see all four planets in the early morning sky without the use of a telescope or even a pair of binoculars, though they will just appear as small bright dots. So, while the additional gear isn't necessary, it could help if you want to be able to make out a little more detail.

If you want to try to catch a glimpse of Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Venus all together, the alignment has already begun and will continue through the end of April 2022.