Look this week! FIVE planets will be visible in the night sky Tuesday night – here’s how you can see Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Mars
- On March 28, astronomers from Earth will see a major planetary alignment.
- While it’s not unusual to see two or three planets in a line, it’s rarer.
- To get a better view of the five planets on Tuesday, it’s best to escape the city.
Astronomy buffs will have the chance to see a rare planetary alignment on Tuesday as the solar system’s five planets align.
From the UK, Venus and Jupiter are expected to be the most obvious, while spotting dim Mercury, Uranus and Mars could be a little more difficult.
According to Professor Beth Biller of New York University, your exact location in the country is “not critical” to planetary observation. Edinburgh.
But she confirmed that getting away from city life is the best option for a clearer view, as urban areas suffer more from light pollution.
She told MailOnline: “The exact UK location is probably not critical. What’s more important is to be out of town and be where you have a good view of the horizon.”
On March 28, astronomers from Earth will be able to see a large planetary alignment of Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus.
How to find good places for stargazing
- Stay away from places with a lot of light pollution, such as parking lots, sports complexes, street lights.
- Being at a higher altitude helps because you will be above dense air at low altitudes, which contains haze, fog and smoke that mask your view of the stars.
- Use the stargazing app to direct your gaze to the desired area of the night sky.
- Watch the weather – even the best places get too cloudy!
A planetary alignment occurs when several planets are in the same constellation.
Bye it is not uncommon to see two or three planets in the sky, five-planet arrangements are less common.
This happened last year, as well as in 2020 and 2016 before that.
Professor Biller added: “B.Enus and Jupiter are both very bright and easy to spot, and you may have seen them close together in the last few weeks.
“Mars is a bit dimmer, but still easy to see with the naked eye. Mercury is starting to get tricky – you have to be in a dark place with a clear view of the horizon if you want to see Mercury.”
According to Sky & Telescope senior editor Rick Feinberg, some planets can also be difficult to detect from the US.
“Unless you have clear skies and an almost flat western horizon free of obstructions like trees or buildings, you won’t see Jupiter and Mercury,” he said during a call with FOX 35.
While special equipment may be required to detect Uranus, Finberg stated that five of the planets should be visible through binoculars.
However, skywatchers need not worry if they miss the spectacle – there will be a number of other planetary alignments this year (file image)
However, skywatchers need not worry if they miss the spectacle. there will be a number of other planetary alignments this year.
In less than a month, Mercury, Uranus, Venus and Mars are expected to align again in the 35-degree sector of the sky.
Then, on April 24, there will be a 40-degree sector in which Mars, Venus, Uranus and Mercury come together.
Stargazers last year in the northern hemisphere had the amazing opportunity to simultaneously observe Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
To easily identify the planets this month, the educational astronomy app Star Walk recommends using the Sky Tonight app, which can be hovered over the night sky to see what’s happening in real time.
The planets are expected to align in a 50-degree sector of the sky, meaning they will appear closer to each other from Earth in a small area above.
This visual phenomenon is different from astronomical alignment, when the planets converge simultaneously on one side of the Sun.
DOES PLANETARY ALIGNMENT AFFECT THE EARTH?
The planets in our solar system never line up in a perfectly straight line like they do in movies.
If you look at a 2D graph of the planets and their orbits on a piece of paper, you might think that eventually all the planets will revolve around the same line.
In fact, not all planets ideally rotate in the same plane. Instead, they rotate in different orbits in three-dimensional space. For this reason, they will never be perfectly aligned.
Planetary alignment depends on your point of view. If three planets are in the same region of the sky from the Earth’s point of view, they are not necessarily in the same region of the sky from the Sun’s point of view.
So the alignment is an artifact of the point of view, not something fundamental in the planets themselves.
Even if all the planets lined up in a perfectly straight line, it would have little effect on the Earth.
Fiction and pseudoscience writers like to claim that planetary alignment means that all of the planets’ gravitational fields are added together to form something massive that interferes with life on Earth.
In truth, the gravitational pull of the planets on Earth is so weak that it does not significantly affect life on Earth.
There are only two objects in the solar system with enough gravity to significantly affect the Earth: the Moon and the Sun.
The sun’s gravity is strong because the sun is so massive. The gravitational pull of the Moon on Earth is strong because the Moon is so close.
The Sun’s gravity determines the Earth’s annual orbit and therefore, combined with the Earth’s tilt, causes the seasons to change.
The moon’s gravity is primarily responsible for the daily ocean tides. The close alignment of the Sun and Moon affects the Earth because their gravitational fields are very strong.
This partial alignment occurs every full moon and new moon and results in very strong tides called “spring tides”.
The word “spring” here refers to the fact that the water seems to bounce ashore during very high tides every two weeks, not just during the spring season.
Source: Dr. Christopher S. Baird/West Texas A&M University.