In mid-May, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Mercury will join the Moon in the sky. This image represents the order in which you will see these bodies around May 13th from high to low in the sky: Jupiter, the Moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn and then Mercury. Please note: planet sizes are not meant to be to scale.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image
Planetary Alignment 2002
News story originally written on April 24, 2002
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets
are visible at the same time in the night sky! This is includes Mercury
which is generally very hard to see. You won't want to miss this! The next similar gathering of these five planets won't occur until September 2040!
Use the links below to find out specific viewing information for specific dates.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible at the same time in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see. You won't want to miss this!...more