Sorry to rain on your ‘Planets on Parade’

There are two reasons it won’t be as good it sounds
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:14 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - I have an unpopular opinion on the “Planets on Parade” that you might have heard about. Up until a few days ago, I had never heard of tonight’s “Planets on Parade.” It sounds interesting, but with all the hype it’s getting, I think it’ll disappoint casual viewers.

Just after sunset, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, and Uranus will line up in the western sky.

But there are a couple of problems:

1) Tonight’s forecast is cloudy and rainy. (Click on the video at the top of the story to check out the full forecast.) The chance of seeing ANY stars or planets is low in Central Virginia.

2) In order to see Mercury and Uranus, you’ll need binoculars or a telescope AND a clear view of the western horizon, plus an area with low light pollution.

If you follow me on social media or watch me on TV, you know I do my best to alert you to interesting astronomy to share with your friends and family. I just don’t think tonight’s event will be worth it for casual viewers!

Sorry to be a downer, but when the hype train races ahead of the facts, I think it’s my job to let you know.