5 Planets aligning with the moon on May 29

Came across this IG reel recently.

The last one is about the alignment of five planets (Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus) with the moon, on the morning of May 29. Is there any good place in / near Chennai to view this?

Hello @cmkingi, Welcome to our club. Though am not sure about the pollution levels in these areas, I’ve heard some of our members mention about Mambakkam lake and Pulicat lake in other posts to have decent skies near Chennai. However a word of caution to go to these areas in groups for safety reasons. You need to consider that especially because these planets are going to rise in the morning and if you want to see them all, assuming you’d use atleast an hour or two, you are expecting to be at the spot from around 3 am.

All the best, be safe and wish you clear skies.

Apologies for being a spoilsport, but, Jupiter is not greatly placed when Mercury is out. It still hovers just a few degrees above Mercury. However, Saturn and Neptune will be beautifully placed.

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Hi @cmkingi! I’m Nanditha, a master’s student looking to start out with astrophotography and learning more about astronomy. I would love to join you on May 29th if you would be okay with it! My email is ns382@duke.edu.

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Thank you for your advice, Gnana! Ill definitely keep that in mind when i’m planning to see the event.

Will this event happen every year? Or was it only 4 planets last year?!
Sorry amateur here.

Hello @vivek , alignments happen every year with a few planets. However, alignments with all the outer planets is rare as their orbits are huge and speeds differ.
Frequently, the inner planet(s) join more than a few of the outer planets either in the morning or evening sky which is beautiful. The five planet morning alignment mentioned above is similar to what we saw a few months back in the evening sky before they all had their inferior conjunctions (being on the other side of the sun due to earth’s position in its orbit). Then we didn’t have Saturn but had Mercury and Venus. In May, we have Saturn but not Venus as it is still brilliantly placed in the evening sky. I think last year, we had them all out in the morning sky. So, alignments in this sense is not rare, but, proper alignment i.e., when they all line up in close proximity is very very rare.


Hi @Gnana Oh okay, got it!
Thanks for the explanation!!

Hello Charles, Vivek, I just looked up the alignment mentioned above for 29 May in Chennai, but you don’t have Moon around when other planets rise. However, if you waited until 13 June, then Mercury would have also already reached its highest altitude and started it’s eastward motion, Moon would have waned to less than a quarter and they all line up beautifully from Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Moon, Neptune and Saturn placed roughly equal distance apart.

Therefore, I’d suggest 13 June over 29 May. However, please check and confirm before you finalise any plans.