Astronomers have announced that certain planets will align for a beautiful display over Europe. Apparently Venus, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter will offer a unique sight for people living in Europe soon enough.
The effect that will take place is called a planetary conjunction. This is when multiple planets tend to appear closer to each other due to their respective positions in relation to the Sun. Generally, they can be seen with the naked eye and for this particular one the best moment to view it is before sunrise on Thursday.
Generally, when observing such phenomenon, astronomers will see two planets appear together on the sky a few times every year. Getting to see three gathered in such a manner is considered very unusual. They warn people that an event like this one won’t happen again until at least 2021. So if you’re passionate about the subject now is the time to act.
The advantage of the planets that will align is that they are visible with the naked eye. Unlike other planets like Uranus, Neptune and Saturn which can’t be seen at any point in time without the proper equipment. Astronomers advice people to look towards the east, next to the constellations The Big Dipper and Leo. If you do this right before sunrise you will be able to see them at their most perfect moment in the sky.
In any case you should still at least bring a pair of binoculars to help you out. With the usage of even more advanced equipment you might even get to see one of the moons of Jupiter like Europa, Ganymede, Io or Callisto.
Out of all the planets that will be aligned, Venus will apparently be the brightest one, making it the easiest to identify. Next up we have Jupiter which will be slightly harder to spot and last but not least we have Mars. Mars will be dimmer than the other two making it the hardest to spot out of all three of them.
Even if they might appear close to each other, the planets are still millions of kilometers away. The orbits that they take will just make it look like they are close to each other from our perspective. The planets will drift away from each other and the spectacle will sadly be over, by the beginning of November.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org