Predawn Hours is hosting a planet-watching party for skywatchers this week. Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn will be visible in a diagonal line connected to a waning crescent moon.
Before sunrise, look for this cosmic band in the sky between east and southeast. You can usually distinguish between planets and stars because they are brighter and less luminous. Jupiter will be at its lowest and furthest to the left, followed by Venus, Mars and Saturn drawing an invisible line moving up and to the right.
To help discover planets, an app like Stellarium can be very useful.
A fifth planet also appears in the night sky, but not at the same time. Mercury can be seen in the evening, but it will be absent before others appear in the morning.
The group of quadruped realms will appear every morning for the rest of the month as the moon shrinks in the sky. By the end of April, we’ll see this smiling moon slip below the planetary lineup on successive nights. It will locate Saturn on April 25, Mars the following night, and both Jupiter and Venus on April 27.
The conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will continue until they appear side by side in the sky around April 30. In fact, it’s closest seen since 2016 and is likely to be easy to spot this time due to its more favorable position in relation to the bright morning sun.
Of course, the planets are not in danger of colliding because they are in fact millions of miles away. It appears to be close to our view on Earth. If Venus were to approach Jupiter, it would likely be pulled by the gravity of the gas giant and eventually swallowed up. That is, if it is not destroyed, because it is first pelted by dozens of Jupiter’s moons.
This would make for a rare and terrifying sight in the night sky if that happened.