4 Planets Align in the Morning Sky This Month. Want to See Them?

Apr 20, 2022

If you rise before dawn for the next 10 days, you’ll see a rare cosmic display. Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn will appear to align. The event will occur on the southeastern horizon. The planets will seem to point towards the sky.

If the skies are clear, the alignment will be most visible about 45 minutes before dawn Wednesday. 

“The four planets can be seen by the naked eye in a straight line for the rest of April, as long as city lights don’t intrude,” NASA said.

Only three such planetary events have occurred since 2005. Throughout history, such events have often fed superstitions. People saw the alignment as signs of good and bad future events. 

In 2012, for example, doomsayers relying on an interpretation of Mayan prophecy claimed a planetary alignment would trigger a series of horrible events. They also predicted the event would reveal a hidden planet called Nibiru. They believed Nibiru would then hit Earth. None of that happened, of course.

In reality, planets don’t actually align. Their different orbits, though, can create that illusion. That happens when the planets are in the same region of Earth’s sky. 

An even bigger alignment is coming June 24. Our solar system’s seven other planets will stretch across the sky in a line. You should be able to see all the planets except for Neptune and Uranus with your naked eye.  

Question
According to the infographic, which planet will appear closest to the horizon in the Southern Hemisphere? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. Venus
b. Mars
c. Jupiter
d. Saturn
For more formative assessments, visit thejuicelearning.com to start a free trial.
Take a step further with this topic using the following teaching resources.
Resources

News brought to you by

Start a free trial today