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Wales Online
Wales Online
Neil Shaw

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus to align with Moon on Sunday

The planets are set to align with the moon on Sunday morning providing an unusual sight for amateur astronomers. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus will align with the Moon before sunrise on Sunday morning.

The alignment some at the same time as the peak of the Lyrid this Sunday, April 24. Those hoping to view the phenomenon will have to rise in the early hours, as the window for the alignment starts around 5am.

At this point, the planets will have risen just above the horizon and loom there bright in the predawn sky. While visible to the naked eye, the planets will take on the appearance of stars in a rapidly brightening early morning sky.

Observers must look towards the southeast and use the Moon as a starting point. The Earth's natural satellite should have four bright dots lined up to its left.

The planets won't perfectly line up, as Saturn will loom slightly above the Moon, while Mars, Venus and Jupiter will appear lower.

Stargazers will have roughly an hour to watch before the planets are dimmed by sunrise around 6am. Not everyone will have a chance to watch, as weather forecasts suggest much of the country will see a cloudy Sunday morning.

The last time planets aligned in this fashion was two years ago, in 2020. And before then, astronomers spotted alignments in 2016 and 2005, with the former event seeing a parade of five with Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury appearing together.

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