When Planets Parade: 5 planets to align in ‘Starwalk Phenomenon’ next week, here’s how to watch
Next week we will get to see one of the rarest cosmic events to ever happen, a rare planetary alignment Five planets, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars are set to perfectly align at the same time with the moon in an event called a planetary parade.
A cosmic event that is rarer than watching a star getting swallowed by a black hole, is set to light up the night sky later this month. Five planets, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars are set to perfectly align at the same time on March 28 in a rare event that is called the planetary parade.
Although the alignment event will take place next Tuesday, when they will show at the same moment on Tuesday, just after sundown, they will also be visible in the sky the days before and after.
How is this planetary alignment a Starwalk Phenomenon?
Because the planets will look like they are in a perfect line with the Earth, the event is called a Starwalk Phenomenon, which basically means a phenomenon that will make a lot of people to star gaze or look at the sky as a collective species.
This will be the first celestial conjunction since June when five planets aligned for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Also read: Out of this world! Stunning astronomy images that will take you to infinity and beyond
This time, the observable planets will be seen in an arc, which may necessitate additional equipment to detect them.
“Don’t forget to look to the sky at the end of the month for the planetary alignment, which will have at least five planets – plus the moon – all visible in almost an arc shape as seen from Earth,” tweeted retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
How to see the planetary alignment?
According to Benne Holwerda, an astronomer at the University of Louisville, many of the planets “will be visible with the naked eye, binoculars, or a small telescope,” and it’s best to move away from street and city lights to see them.
“It’s pretty amazing how well your eyes adapt when you’re in a dark and cloudless place,” Holwerda said. The best time for viewing will be to face the horizon, or west, after sunset, she added.
Also read: Venus doesn’t have enough water in its atmosphere to support active life, say scientists
According to Gary Swangin, manager of the Panther Academy Planetarium in Paterson, New Jersey, it will be simple to see Mars, Venus, and Jupiter in the heavens, but Mercury and Uranus may take binoculars or a telescope to see.
Future planetary alignments
Planetary Alignments usually happen in a cluster. In June last year, we had a similar phenomenon, when 5 planets aligned perfectly to be visible from the earth in an arc, in June last year. However, that was the first time something like this happened in 20 years.
Similarly, scientists have calculated that we will get to see another planetary alignment this year in June. Mercury, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn will appear in alignment on the morning of June 17. However, after that, there may be a long wait before we get a planetary alignment where 5 or more celestial bodies are visible to the human eye, without any specialised equipment
Having said that, smaller alignments keep on happening from time to time.
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