June 24, 2022

See the rare alignment of 5 planets and the moon in this stunning night sky photo

Astrophotographer Wright Dobbs took this image of five bright planets visible lined up with the moon from St. Cloud, Florida before dawn on June 24, 2022. The planets are (from left): Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn with the crescent moon between Venus and Jupiter. (Image credit: Wright Dobbs)

The rare sight of five bright planets lining up with the moon wowed skywatchers around the world Friday, with some gearing up for more this weekend to see a planetary sight that won’t happen again until 2040.

Throughout June, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have lined up from left to right, in their orbital order from the sun, before dawn in the southeastern sky. Early Friday (June 24), the moon joined the planet parade in an awesome sight captured by astrophotographer Wright Dobbs, a meteorologist for the U.S. National Weather Service in Tallahassee, Florida.

“Seeing the night sky is amazing and, knowing the rarity of these alignments, you have to take every opportunity to view and capture it,” Dobbs told Space.com in an email after sharing an image of the fivesome from St. Cloud, Florida on Friday. Dobbs is a veteran night sky photographer and you can see more photos on their Facebook page, (opens in new tab) as well as on Twitter (opens in new tab) and Instagram @wrightdobbs (opens in new tab)

Related: Rare alignment of 5 planets peaks Friday with the crescent moon

The image was shot with a Sony a7ii, and was composed of a three-image panorama with a Sigma 14mm f/1.8 lens. Each image was exposed at ISO 1600, f/6.3, 15 seconds.

“It’s certainly not the darkest place I’ve shot astrophotography from, but I love what the twilight glow added to the display of the planets in the morning sky,” Dobbs said.

Other stunning views flowed in from social media.

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See the planets align?

If you take a photograph of the five-world fiesta, let us know! You can send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com.

While the show did hit its peak today (June 24), there’s still ample time available to see the planets in alignment, along with the moon.

The moon moved through a planetary “meet and greet” in the predawn sky, passing Saturn on June 18, Jupiter on June 21 and Mars on June 22. The moon will continue its tour with a pass-by of Venus on June 26, and then end its tour with Mercury on June 27. 

Related: The brightest planets in June’s night sky: How to see them (and when) 

If you’re looking for a telescope or binoculars to see alignments like this event, our guides for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now can help. Our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to prepare to capture the next stargazing sight in a photo.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Facebook (opens in new tab)

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