Seattle area could catch a glimpse of a rare sky spectacle



Seattle Times staff reporter

Early birds may get a rare astronomical sight Wednesday morning — if clouds don’t get in the way.

In the Northern Hemisphere, Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn will align low in the southeast sky around 5:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service and EarthSky. Viewers can spot Jupiter, the second brightest planet, closest to the horizon followed by Venus, the brightest planet, just above.

The clouds in the upper atmosphere, however, might ruin the sight, according to meteorologist Jeff Michalski.

Another system of showers and potential thunderstorms were expected to roll into the Seattle area, which means increasing clouds right around 5 a.m., he said Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s tough to say how thick the clouds will be further north, but to see this phenomenon might be difficult,” he said.

NWS currently forecasts a sky cover of around 74% in Seattle around that time. There will also be scattered showers and a chance of thunderstorms throughout Wednesday afternoon, Michalski said.

Not all hope is lost for a rare celestial sighting, however. On April 30, Venus and Jupiter are headed for a conjunction where they will appear close together, according to NASA.

Wednesday will see a high of 54 degrees and light rain mainly in the afternoon. Thursday will see a similar temperatures, scattered showers and southeast winds up to 11 mph. The low on Wednesday and Thursday will be in the low 40s.

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