UAE: A Rare ‘Planet Parade’ Is Happening & You’ll Be Able To See It Without A Telescope!

I bet you’ve never been to a parade like this one. Here’s the deal – If you have high-powered binoculars, a telescope, or even just a really good pair of eyes, then you’re invited to the party. I’m talking about none other than the Planet Parade party! That’s right, by May end, if you look to the skies, you’ll see the mesmerising sight of 6 plants from our solar system all lined up into 1 straight line. So, for all my stargazing lovers out there, come with me, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the planetary parade and how you can see it from Abu Dhabi.

Also read: No More Light Pollution In Abu Dhabi With The City’s New ‘Dark Sky Policy’

What Planets Are On Display?

You’ll be able to see Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn without any equipment. But, if you have high-powered binoculars or a telescope, you can also catch a glimpse of Uranus near Mercury and Neptune near Saturn. This isn’t the first planetary parade of the year. The last one was during the 2024 solar eclipse, where people could see Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and Mars (Mars and Saturn were a bit tricky to spot, though).

When Can We See The Planet Parade?

People around the world will get a chance to enjoy it. The best time to go looking for the parade is just before sunrise in your area. Even if you can only see a few planets, it’s still a sight to behold! Venus will also be part of the parade, but too close to the sun to see. The six-planet show will be visible every morning for about a week (the range for Abu Dhabi is from May 27 – May 30). After that, Mercury will get too close to the sun, making it harder to see.

Here’s when you can catch it in major cities:

  • São Paulo: May 27
  • Sydney: May 28
  • Mexico: May 29
  • Abu Dhabi: May 30
  • Hong Kong: May 30
  • Athens & Tokyo: June 2
  • New York: June 3

Where Can I See The Parade

If you want the ultimate viewing party of the Planet Parade 2024, then you need to head over to the darkest spot in the UAE. It’s not called ‘The Milkway Spot’ for no reason, you know  – you can completely see our very own Milky Way Galaxy while you’re here. You’ll find this place nestled at 23.604633, 54.750256, in Al Quaa. Getting here will put you on a scenic 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi towards Al Ain. But once you arrive and actually get to experience the stars in all their glory, you’ll know the drive was worth it. You’ll find everything you need to know about the Milkyway Spot below.

Also read: The Darkest Spot To Go Stargazing In UAE – The ‘Milky Way Spot’

Do You Need Special Equipment?

Good news! You don’t need much to enjoy this event. Four of the planets (Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Mercury) can be seen with the naked eye. However, you’ll need high-powered binoculars or a telescope to see Neptune and Uranus. Remember, the closer it gets to dawn, the brighter the sky, making it harder to see the distant planets.

What’s a Planetary Parade?

A planetary parade, also known as a planetary alignment, happens when multiple planets line up in the sky. While it’s not an official astronomy term, it’s a popular way to describe this beautiful phenomenon. Typically, it refers to the visual alignment of planets, which can range from three to all of them.

Future Planet Parades

Can’t catch this one? No worries! There are more planet parades coming up. Here are the dates for the next few:

  • August 28, 2024
  • January 18, 2025
  • February 28, 2025
  • August 29, 2025

The event on February 28, 2025, is especially exciting because all seven other planets will be visible at the same time!

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