It seems like every few weeks when you log onto Facebook you see someone posting about some rare and unique celestial event. Sometimes, you have a hard time differentiating between what is fantasy and what is reality. Recently though, you have actually spotted some articles that appear to talk about an actual planetary alignment happening right now. Specifically, you may have heard mention about five separate planets lining up in the night sky from approximately January 20 through February 20. Of course, with news of this alignment, you also have spotted plenty of doomsday prophesies and other unscientific claims. Fortunately, Article Cats is right there with you to clear up to the details and let you in on the facts.
If you are a regular on any sort of social media network, you know how often there are hoaxes that claim something rare is going to happen among the cosmos when in reality nothing is really going on. In this case, there are actually five planets that have aligned: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. More specifically, if you were to go outside and look up at the night sky, you could actually see all five of these planets right now, which is not a common event. Of course, just because each of these planets is now visible from earth does not mean that they are going to cause some sort of catastrophic event.
Taking advantage of this rare occurrence, there are many individuals who are suggesting this could lead to the end of days, or at least some less-than-natural disasters. One common example is that people are suggesting this alignment could actually cause severe earthquakes in California. In case you are wondering about this, it can’t. You may want to go check back into tectonic plate theory before you believe this kind of theory. Of course, others are suggesting that things could be much more catastrophic than this, leading to a global extinction event in some way.
Knowing that you don’t have to put on an old REM song and party for your last few precious hours on earth, you might actually want to take the time to enjoy this event. After all, it is the first time in over a decade that these five planets have appeared in the night sky together like this, which means that its the first real opportunity for some to go out and see it. So, rather than huddle up inside and fear about that insane prophecy that has allegedly existed for hundreds of years yet only now just became relevant, you might want to dust off the old telescope and go find somewhere nice to look up at the sky.
If you want to go this route, just find one of the planets and hold up your arm to align it with the moon. From there, the rest of the planets should be in line with your arm, making it easy to use the telescope from there to view away.
At least Mercury isn’t in retrograde.