top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Five planets align in skies over France: How to see this rare event

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will appear in a diagonal line in the sky and be most visible between June 18 and 27

Venus, the Moon and Jupiter aligning in the night sky on a separate occasion Pic: Robert P Horton / Shutterstock

Five of our closest neighbouring planets are aligning in the sky this June, creating a rare spectacle which will be visible to the naked eye for the whole month. 

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and perhaps even Uranus will appear in order in the dawn sky for the first time in 18 years, in what is known as a conjunction.

In France, the planets will be particularly visible between June 18 and 27, and on June 24 and 25, the moon will help to make Uranus more easily observable as a tiny green dot on the horizon.

During this week, the moon will sit between Venus and Mars in the planet order.

Mercury will appear closest to the horizon with Saturn the highest planet in the sky. 

Planet-gazing will be easiest from 30 minutes before sunrise, in a place with a view of the eastern or southeastern horizon. It is best to look for a very dark sky but the planets should still be noticeable from urban areas. 

If the sky is clear, the planets should shine brighter than surrounding stars and be visible to the naked eye, although Mercury is slightly more difficult to see because it is so close to the sun. 

Venus and Jupiter will appear most clearly, as they shine the brightest, and Mercury should grow more defined later in June, as it moves away from the sun.

As the month wears on, the planets will grow further apart in the sky, which will make it more difficult to photograph them all at the same time. 

“Planets are often getting closer to each other and further away from each other, but this is just a particularly fun order. It’s just a coincidence,” NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller told The Washington Post.

It is fairly common that some planets present themselves close together in the night sky, but having five planets align at one time is something that only occurs every 20 years or so. The next such conjunction will happen in 2040.

Related articles 

Pictured: lunar eclipse as it appeared in south-west France

Total eclipse of the Moon to be visible from France

Look up in France to see the April Lyrids shooting stars

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now