Sorry, a ‘parade of planets’ in alignment will not be visible to the naked eye on Monday, June 3

Human beings often procrastinate on difficult or uncomfortable tasks, waiting for ideal conditions. We often joke that we’ll get to these tasks when “the planets align.”

There have been some reports lately indicating that this rare occurrence is going to be highly visible on June 3, in a so-called parade of planets. The good news for slackers everywhere is that NASA has poured cold water on these rumors. Humans can continue to be like Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton and wait for it.

The reports, explained

There are eight planets in our solar system. Some websites were reporting that six of these planets would be visible during a planetary alignment on June 3: Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars, Neptune, and Saturn were supposedly going to appear in a row in the predawn sky. However, the reports are not as exciting as they sound.

NASA keeps it real

Thankfully, NASA has stepped in to tell us non-rocket scientists what is going on. We will only be able to see two of the six planets: Saturn and Mars. According to NASA, Jupiter and Mercury will either be at the horizon or below it, so they will be impossible to see. And Uranus and Neptune will be so small, you’ll need a telescope to see. A separate report from CNN quotes an expert who says three planets will be visible. Either way, it’s hardly a parade.

However, if you are craving a planetary alignment in your life, all is not lost: NASA offered an alternative celestial event. On June 29, Saturn, the moon, Mars, and Jupiter will align in the morning sky. This phenomenon will continue into July. Humans might have to get their acts together after all.   

How do planets align in the first place?

The planets orbit the sun. Because of their ecliptic path, it sometimes appears from Earth as if they are lined up. When this does occur, it’s fleeting because the planets all travel at different speeds.

Heavenly rumors come and go

If the inaccurate reports got to you, don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone, and this isn’t the first or last time rumors about the night sky will abound. 

Another famous falsehood was rooted in truth, as recently pointed out. In August of 2003, Mars appeared close to Earth. Because of this, many believed this would be a yearly occurrence. It’s not—but that doesn’t prevent rumors of its reoccurrence from popping up during the summer months.

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