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Photos: Vancouver locals capture last night’s remarkable five-planet alignment

When is the next astronomical spectacle?🪐
Vancouverites spotted a unique five-planet alignment of Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Uranus in the sky on March 28, 2023.

An uncommon celestial cluster dotted the sky over Vancouver last night. 

A planetary alignment including Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Mars, was seen over the city Tuesday (March 28) night. 

Though planetary alignments aren't rare, alignments involving so many planets aren't common either. 

Vancouver locals snapped photos of the astronomical spectacle.

When is the next planetary alignment visible in Vancouver?

According to the educational astronomy app Star Walk, Earth-dwellers will have plenty more opportunities to see clusters of planets in the sky this year. The next chance to spot Mercury, Uranus, Venus, and Mars lined up will be on April 11. 

However, the next most noteworthy planetary alignment won't take place until Sept. 8, 2040. On this night, stargazers will be able to see five planets– Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn– with the naked eye, along with the crescent Moon between Venus and Saturn. 

The next major alignment will occur 40 years later on March 15, 2080, with six planets– Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Uranus– all visible in the morning sky. It will also feature the "great conjunction" of Saturn and Jupiter. 

There is one exciting celestial event that will take place over a century later. On May 19, 2161, all the planets in the solar system, including Earth, will end up on one side of the Sun which means earthlings can observe every planet in the sky. 

As for 2023, here is when you can spot the next planetary alignment in Vancouver: 

  • April 11 - Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars; small evening alignment with 35-degree sky sector
  • April 24 - Mercury, Uranus, Venus, Mars; small evening alignment with 40-degree sky sector
  • May 29 - Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Saturn; small morning alignment with 70-degree sky sector
  • June 17 - Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune; large morning alignment with 95-degree sky sector
  • July 26 - Mercury, Venus, Mars; mini evening alignment with 15-degree sky sector
  • August 24 
    • at sunset: setting Mercury and Mars, rising Saturn; mini alignment with 175-degree sky sector
    • at night: Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn; small alignment with 80-degree sky sector
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