Update: Today's livestream of the solar system planets will now begin at 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT).
Take a grand tour of the solar system tonight (Dec. 28) as each of the planets in the solar system will be visible at the same time.
As 2022 comes to an end, skywatchers can take in the rare sight of all of the planets in our solar system (aside from Earth) together in the sky. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all currently visible simultaneously with the naked eye. The two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, can meanwhile be observed with binoculars or a telescope.
To celebrate this excellent skywatching opportunity, the Virtual Telescope Project is hosting a free "grand tour of the solar system" livestream starting at 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT) on Wednesday (Dec. 28). You can watch the live webcast courtesy of the project's website linked to above, or on their YouTube channel.
The five planets visible with the naked eye — Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, in that order — will line up in the sky starting from the southwestern horizon. Mercury, the smallest planet in the solar system, will be difficult to see with the eye, but it's possible if dark sky conditions are right.
Gianluca Masi, an astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project, says while the occurrence of all other planets being visible isn't particularly rare, it does make for an impressive skywatching opportunity. "It happens from time to time, but it is always a spectacular sight," Masi told Newsweek.
Such "grand tours" happen roughly every one to two years, on average. In June 2022, skywatchers were treated to five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — arranged in a rare alignment the likes of which hadn't occurred since 1864.
If you want to take a look at the planets of the solar system and don't have all the gear you need, be sure not to miss our guides for the best binoculars and the best telescopes to view the planets or anything else in the sky. For capturing the best skywatching images you can, we have recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
Get the Space.com Newsletter
Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Brett is curious about emerging technologies, alternative launch concepts, anti-satellite technologies and uncrewed aircraft systems. Brett's work has appeared on Scientific American, The War Zone, Popular Science, the History Channel, Science Discovery and more. Brett has English degrees from Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In his free time, Brett enjoys skywatching throughout the dark skies of the Appalachian mountains.
If Pluto ain’t invited I ain’t going to the party! 🖖Reply
No where in the article does it say morning or evening, that would be helpful.Reply
I guess "PM" wasn't enough....bluharley said:No where in the article does it say morning or evening, that would be helpful.
You’re wrong. There are six planets visible with the naked eye. You forgot to mention EarthAdmin said:Take a grand tour of the solar system tonight (Dec. 28) as each of the planets in the solar system will be visible at the same time.
Every planet in the solar system will be visible on Wednesday (Dec. 28). Here's how to see them : Read more
I agree - when you look out at the horizon, and see the planets in the sky - you are also seeing earth in the sky; just because you don't see all of it doesn't mean you don't see it.Reply
I find earth rather easy to see; especially when I look down at my feet.