5 Planets Align Today For The First Time In A Decade
The planets are aligning in a once in a decade event! Celebrate this event by gazing at the stars, our destination. And no blood sacrifice! Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, Mercury last aligned in 2005.
The Australian Geographic offered this explanatory interview: “Dr Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said that this reasonably rare alignment is ‘essentially a quirk’ of the universe. All the planets sit on a flat plane but have different yearly cycles – so for all five visible planets to happen to line up is ‘something well worth seeing,’ he said.”
The best time to watch the aligned and to keep away from daggers, goats and stone circles will be on the last week of January and the first week of February. You just have to wake up 45 minutes before sunrise! Android device totting readers can also use the SkEye app.
More info: skyandtelescope.com (h/t: australiangeographic)
Image source: Alan Duffy
Image source: Doug Murray
Image source: ABC News
Tips For The Northern Hemisphere:
1. The best time to see the alignment will be before dawn between January 20th and January 24th. Though you’ll be able to partially see it up to February 20th.
2. Look south. Mercury will be closest to the eastern horizon, while Jupiter will loiter in the west-southwest.
3. Try to find a flat horizon and a dark sky. If possible, head away from the lights of civilization.
4. Hold your arm up in a straight line from the horizon to the moon and the planets should fall along that line.
5. Don’t give up! It may take more than one early morning to see the full alignment.
6. You’ll be able to see the planets with the naked eye, but if you have a telescope, it’ll look even better.
7. You can use an app like SkEye to get updates on the best time to stargaze in your area.
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