2 planets will align with the 'Earth-shining' moon on the summer solstice. Here's how to watch.

The beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere coincides with Mars, Venus, and the crescent moon's "Earth-shining" closest alignments through 2028.

The summer solstice, which occurs on June 21, may be a significant annual event on Earth, but except the fact that the sun is at its zenith in the Northern Hemisphere, it is not traditionally a time for stargazing. That changes in 2023 when Venus, Mars, and a thin crescent moon emerge in the western sky during the solstice's evening twilight.

According to When The Curves Line Up, viewers in North and South America won't see the three heavenly bodies so closely together again until March 28, 2028. It's a beautiful week to be outside in the twilight, and Da Vinci glow (also known as Earthshine, or sunlight reflected by the Earth onto the dark lunar surface) is visible on the waxing crescent moon. Alignments also emerge on the evenings before and following the solstice.

On Monday, June 19, at twilight low on the western horizon, use stargazing binoculars to locate the smallest crescent moon imaginable. Given the brilliant sky after sunset and its illumination level of slightly over 3%, it could be challenging to see.

A somewhat brighter and higher crescent moon will create a line in the sky with bright Venus and faint Mars the next evening, Tuesday, June 20. The moon will have an illumination level of about 8% and exhibit a striking Da Vinci glow on its shadowed limb.

According to Timeanddate.com, the three bodies will be most visible on Wednesday, June 21 during the first twilight after the summer solstice. A right-angle triangle formed by Mars, Venus, and a 13% lit crescent moon will signal the beginning of astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere, however dull Mars may be difficult to see without binoculars or a fine small telescope. Watch out once more for the Da Vinci light on the moon.

The next evening, on June 22, a 21% lit crescent moon will once again align with Mars and Venus, but this time from above the duo. This will be the last glimpse of the week. Additionally, the moon will be close to Regulus in the Leo constellation.

All of these sights are visible with the unaided eye, but a set of stargazing binoculars or a telescope will be useful for a breathtaking up-close view of the Da Vinci glow on the lunar surface.