A ‘planet parade’ is coming Thursday morning, when Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto will line up — here’s how to see it

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Flickr / Grand Canyon National Park

  • Before dawn on Thursday, March 8, stargazers will be able to catch a “planet parade” in the early morning sky.
  • Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto will all line up, with the moon between Jupiter and Mars.
  • Even if you miss that show, these planets will be visible throughout the month.

It’s a good month to be a stargazer or planet-watcher.

If you’re lucky enough to have clear skies tonight, peek outside before the sun comes up tomorrow. You may catch what many are calling a “planet parade.”

Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto will all be lined up in the pre-dawn sky the morning of March 8, with the moon appearing between Jupiter and Mars in those early hours. You’ll need a telescope to see Pluto, but if you’ve got one, Accuweather says you should also be able to check out the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. (You might even spot those moons with some nice binoculars.)

The view of the planet parade should be fairly clear for those in the southern US and in the Rocky Mountains, according to the Weather Channel. For those in the Northeast, unfortunately, thundersnow-bearing winter storm Quinn will almost certainly obscure the view.

However, you can catch plenty of celestial activity and excellent views of planets all month, according to Earthsky.

Mercury and Venus will both be visible throughout the month in the northern hemisphere, with each planet coming into view shortly after sunset. They’ve been fairly low in the sky so far, but will be rising higher during the middle of the month.

Jupiter should be visible and bright throughout March as well. It’s been rising in the early-morning hours but should start to become visible in the late evening by the end of the month.

Around the same time in late March, Mars and Saturn will also be visible and close together, rising about an hour after midnight for those in the northern hemisphere. Mars will continue to get brighter for the next several months as well, Earthsky reports, outshining Jupiter by July 2018.

You’ll have to get up early to catch the planet parade. But if you’d rather stay in bed, remember that there’s plenty up there in the sky to check out any time you find yourself outside on a dark night.