When This Month You Can See a Whole Bunch of Planets Lined up in the Sky
If you like planets (and who doesn’t love them these days?), the solar system has a gift for you. From April 17 through July, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter will line up diagonally in the predawn sky and be visible without a telescope or binoculars. Later they will be joined by the Moon and Mercury.
To see these relatively rare astronomical alignments, you need to get up early or stay up late: the best time to observe the planetary line is about 45 minutes before sunrise. The planets will be in the southeastern US sky, low on the horizon. You will be able to tell that they are planets because they emit constant light and do not twinkle like stars.
But wait, there’s more!
From a cosmic perspective, things heat up even more around April 23rd. That’s when the Moon joins the supergroup, appearing to the right and above Saturn until it disappears from view on April 29th. Don’t worry, the Moon will be back in service starting May 21st.
As you gaze up at the sky at 5 am on a spring morning, please take a moment to think how great it is to see four planets and the moon at once from the fifth planet. It’s mind-blowing, especially if you’re high.
But wait again, because there is even more!
The “I Think It’s a Triple Rainbow” event will begin on June 17th. That’s when the fashionably late Mercury will join the line of impact so that we puny humans can see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter lined up at the same time. up from east to west, in order of their distance from the sun. I heard they will be naked too. The show will run until July, when temperamental Mercury will dip below the horizon, probably because Jupiter said something.
The Science of Planetary Alignments
Planetary alignments are irregular events that don’t happen very often – the last alignment of five planets was in 2020 – because each planet takes a different amount of time to complete an orbit, ranging from Mercury’s rapid orbit around the Sun in just 88 Earth days. to Saturn, which makes a complete revolution in 29 Earth years . Their schedules don’t match very often.
Despite what your lying eyes tell you, the planets are not really in line during a planetary alignment. They just look that way because of our view of the Earth. If you were transported to the surface of the Sun during a planetary alignment, you would be able to see that the planets are not aligned from that perspective before being burned alive.
Contrary to what astrologers believe, planetary alignment will not affect the Earth in any tangible way. It’s just a pattern that people have noticed.
Can we go even deeper ?
Wouldn’t it be great if all eight planets looked like they were lined up in the sky? Possibly, but science says it will never happen . In 2854, all planets will be within the 30-degree zone, which is pretty cool, but maybe not worth the wait.