Rare Planetary Alignment
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn
January 20 - February 20, 2016
Spread This Message, So Everyone Can Enjoy
All the 5 Bright Planets will be Visible from Earth at the Same Time.
Hoax or Fact:
According to the stories shared heavily online, especially on social media sites, the five bright planets in our neighborhood i.e. Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter will all be visible from Earth when they align in a diagonal row from 20 January 2016 to 20 February 2016. Yes, it is a fact, read on for more details.
About the Rare Planetary Alignment
Earthsky.org reported that the rare planetary alignment of the five bright planets Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter is happening after 10 years, the last time when a similar line-up occurred was between 15 Dec. 2004 and 15 Jan. 2005. Read about the past event on NASA website nasa.gov. What makes the 2016 event interesting is that the bright planets can usually be seen easily in the morning sky (pre-dawn) with the naked eye, and that is because the disks of the planets reflect sunlight and shine more than the distant twinkling stars. The five planets will appear to line up from the horizon to the Moon, and according to the Coachella Valley Independent website cvindependent.com, the waning moon will sweep past the planets from 27 Jan. to 6 Feb. 2016.
How to View the Rare Planetary Alignment
According to the reports, the bright Jupiter will rise first, followed by the red-tinted Mars, golden-looking (pale) Saturn, brightest planet Venus and last comes Mercury very close to the horizon, the appearance of which makes the family complete. To view the celestial phenomenon, astronomers suggest holding your arm up straight from the Moon to the horizon and the five bright planets are expected to appear along that line. Shown in the Image Gallery are illustrative pictures of the rare planetary alignment phenomenon. It should however be noted that the exact timings of the planetary alignment will vary each day and also depends on where you are located. Look for clear skies away from public places with buildings. We wish you get a glimpse of this rare celestial show coming from our solar system. EarthSky.org also predicts that such a planetary alignment will happen again in the evening sky from 13-19 Aug. 2016, but then Mercury and Venus are expected to sit low and not visible easily from the northern hemisphere.