20 Jan Five Bright Planets Align Visible From Earth After More Than 10 Years Since 2005: Are Kagay-anons Lucky To See This Rare Event in CdeO Skies?
Since January 1, planets Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn have been seen above the east southeastern horizon. With Mercury joining this rare planetary conjunction soon. This event happened last 11 years ago and we’re lucky now that we don’t have to wait for another decade just to witness this that’ll start in January 22, 2016 until March 3, 2016.
Chief of PAGASA’s astronomical observation unit Mario Raymundo stated that it’s technically wrong to call this event a planetary alignment, but a conjunction of planets. They only appear unevenly aligned from Earth’s point of view.
This conjunction of planets will be best seen under dark and blue skies an hour before the sun rises and when all of the five planets have already risen, as said by PAGASA astronomer Jose “Pepe” Mendoza.
To guide you in sighting this rare event in the skies of Cagayan de Oro, Jupiter will first rise in the evening with Mars rising after a couple of hours after midnight. Then will be followed by Saturn and Venus a few hours before sunrise. And Mercury rises minutes before sunrise.
Just an advise, your celestial viewing can be best using a telescope, away from the city lights and preferably on beaches with unobstructed clear and dark skies. This hints a month-long astrophotography session among astronomy photographers.
Lastly, Mendoza said that there will be another but a grand conjunction of planets that is expected to happen 24 years from now which will be on September 10, 2040 with the five planets appearing to be close together in the sky. Exciting enough?