5 planets to align, be visible in night skies today

March 28, 2023 at 12:20 PM

Stargazers in the UAE are in for a cosmic treat as a five-planet alignment known as planetary conjunction, will be visible in the night sky on Tuesday, March 28.

According to Khaleej Times, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Mars will be aligned in an arc form along with the moon in the sky after sunset.

In astronomy, a conjunction occurs when two celestial objects such as planets, asteroids, moons, or stars have the same right ascension or ecliptic longitude, as measured from Earth.

Experts underline whether people around the world can effectively see this alignment will depend on their geographical position and ambient light condition. But people in the UAE will be able to enjoy this cosmic spectacle.

Dubai Astronomy Group CEO Hasan Al Hariri opines, “This phenomenon may happen once or twice in a year depending on the alignment of the planet as seen from the Earth. The planets actually don’t align. When the observers from the Earth look at the sky, to them, it appears as if these planets are in alignment. So, it’s a perspective. This happens because of the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. Last year, this alignment happened around morning. This time this kind of alignment will take place around the evening.”

Hariri underlines that though the planets go around the Sun in different orbits and orbital period, sometimes, they appear in the sky ‘bunched together’ in an alignment and more than one planet appears on the night sky of Earth in a linear arrangement.

Multiple instances of five-planet alignment have occurred in recent years (2016, 2020, and 2022), but due to the dynamic nature of planetary movements, the specific combination of planets in alignment varies each time.

This five-planet alignment can be observed from Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre at 8’clock tonight, tomorrow and day after.

“along with the planets the Moon will also be a beautiful sight to reckon with. Details of the moon can also be seen like its craters, mountains and valleys.

It’s always more interesting to observe the Moon during its different phases rather than only viewing the full moon. This sky gazing can be done with the help of big telescopes that we have at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre. For that, I’d request people to register on the website and then come down to the Centre to observe this celestial event,” adds Hariri. (NewsWire)