No 15 days of darkness despite 5-planet alignment on Jan 20-Feb 20

By @vitthernandez on
Planetary Alignment
Planetary alignments, in the past, had sparked speculations of Doomsday, ranging from an asteroid hitting Earth, a planet wandering through the Solar System and even 15 days of darkness. YouTube

Beginning on Wednesday, Jan 20, until Feb 20, five planets will align and the celestial phenomenon would be visible to the naked eye from Earth. However, like in past planetary alignments, Doomsday prophets would likely seize the chance to scare people that the event could possible cause catastrophe.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn would appear in one line from the horizon to the Moon, according to Iflscience. It would be Mercury that would appear very close to the horizon. Venus and Jupiter would be easy to spot, and Mars would also be easy to spot because of its distinctive red glow, says Dr Alan Duffy, research fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne.

To locate Mercury, Duffy advises astronomy buffs to locate an open spot, away from tall buildings or trees. He says it is preferable to get away from city lights so Mercury’s glow would not be drowned by light pollution.

Duffy also says that those who would find one planet should hold up their arms so it is in line with the Moon, and the rest of the planets would be in line with the arm. Those who would fail to see the alignment could see the celestial phenomenon repeat in August 2016 and October 2018, says Dr Tanya Hill, senior curator at the Melbourne Planetarium.

Planetary alignments, in the past, had sparked speculations of Doomsday, ranging from an asteroid hitting Earth, a planet wandering through the Solar System and even 15 days of darkness. In debunking those speculations, such as the planetary alignment on May 28, 2015, which involved the Sun, Mercury and Saturn, Theweathernetwork points out that a video on YouTube claiming the three would align with the Earth and Moon, exaggerates the size of the planets.

It stressed that the Earth moves far off the line of that alignment and in that orbit, the Moon cannot even be picked out from the tiny dot representing Earth. On the use of prophecies, such as those from Nostradamus, the Web site notes that “the quatrains in any English version of The Prophesies depend on inexact translations, meaning that different translators can get different final messages and thus different interpretations.”

Business Insider notes that since A.D. 1000, doomsday prophets have been predicting the end of the world every time there is a planetary alignment, and in 10 times, the last being on March 10, 1982, nothing happened. That was when astrophysicists John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann published “The Jupiter Effect.”

Rather than get spooked, Bustle recommends celebrating the planetary alignment by taking a trip, getting artistic, sweating it out, start saving and cleaning the house.