Five planets to form line in evening sky over Ontario

An upcoming planetary alignment is set to light up the evening sky on Tuesday, as five planets will be visible to stargazers.

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An upcoming planetary alignment is set to light up the evening sky on Tuesday, as five planets will be visible to stargazers. According to the sky tracking site Starwalk, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Mars will form a line across the sky just after sunset, all visible from Earth. Jupiter and Mercury will be located near the horizon in the constellation Pisces, while Venus will be visible higher in the sky on the constellation Aries. Uranus will also line up nearby, but it may require a pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of the planet. Finally, Mars will appear higher in the sky, close to the moon, to complete the five-planet alignment.

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For the best chances of seeing this planetary alignment clearly in Ontario, astrophotographer Trevor Jones recommends clear skies, as well as getting away from city light pollution. Checking the local forecast in your area before heading out to view the alignment is also advised. Additionally, giving your eyes some time to adjust to the darkness can help enhance the viewing experience. Travelling to a dark-sky preserve, where light pollution is kept to a minimum or eliminated completely, will provide viewers with the best opportunity for a vivid show. Fortunately, Canada has 13 federally-designated dark-sky preserves, including Point Pelee National Park in Essex County, Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park near Tobermory, Ont.

In addition to the upcoming planetary alignment, southern Ontario residents were recently treated to a rare appearance of Aurora Borealis, thanks to a geomagnetic storm. It is recommended to take advantage of the opportunities provided by these natural phenomena and explore the beauty of the night sky. Some spots recommended for stargazing, but without official dark-sky designation, include Binbrook Conservation Area in Niagara, Ont., Torrance Barrens in Gravenhurst, Ont., and Lennox and Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area in Napanee, Ont.

 

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