Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Uranus are all set to align and be viewable to stargazers on planet Earth on March 28, 2023. It is not unusual to see maybe two or three planets in the sky, but for a total of five planets to be visible from Earth is not as common. All five planets are expected to line up together in a small section of the sky just after sunset.
This planetary alignment is defined as “a visual phenomenon, which involves the perspective from the earth as the planets appear close together in a small area of the sky.” In this case, the planets are set to gather in a small 50-degree sector.
While this is an undoubtedly magical opportunity, it will be hard to see them all at the same time; some will be more visible and noticeable than others.
Mercury and Jupiter will be visible from very low in the west barring any obstructions, such as trees or buildings, given that they are the brighter planets, as well as Venus. However, the former two are expected to be noticeable near the horizon, while Venus should shine higher in the sky. Mars should be viewable near the first quarter of the moon from high in the southwest sky. Uranus will be the hardest one to see- binoculars will be needed.
For a better guide to identifying the planets this month, the app Sky Tonight is being recommended by Star Walk, an educational astronomy application. Star Walk also recommends the use of binoculars for better observation: Jupiter on a magnitude of -2.1; Mercury on a magnitude of -1.3 from the horizon; Venus with a magnitude of -4.0; and Uranus, only with strong binoculars and a good location, with a magnitude of 5.8.