Skywatchers in British Columbia will be treated to a spectacular show tonight, as five planets – Mars, Uranus, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter – line up in an arc and become visible on the western horizon from almost anywhere on Earth. Andrew Ferreira, a public relations representative with the Vancouver branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, calls this a “cosmic coincidence” since it is purely by chance that the five planets line up from our perspective.

The best time to view this phenomenon is just after sunset, as the night sky’s movement will gradually lower the planets below the horizon. To spot the planets, locate the half-moon and trace a visual line down to see Mars, followed by Uranus, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter closest to the horizon. While Venus will outshine Uranus, the latter will be visible as a greenish-blueish glow. Mercury will appear faint but can be seen through binoculars. However, Jupiter may not be visible in urban centers due to its low position on the horizon.

For the best viewing experience, move away from city lights and buildings, and give your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the sky. Clear skies are forecasted for almost the entire province, making for great viewing conditions.