Stargazing enthusiasts would not want to miss the early morning skies this week as Venus, Mars and Jupiter are set to be arranged in a rarely seen astronomical spectacle.
On Oct. 24 the three above mentioned planets appeared to be moving closer to one another, forming a very wide triangle.
The trio will be visible up until Oct. 29, though experts believe that the best time to watch the event would be during the early morning of Oct. 26. Once the week has passed, the next time the three planets will come together will be in the year 2021.
Each planet orbits in different speed based on how near they are to the sun, but they all travel in a single flat plane that will be visible in the sky. Venus can complete a revolution around the sun in 225 days, Mars will take two years and Jupiter, 12 years. Jupiter and Venus are bright celestial bodies by themselves, but Mars, not so much, which makes early morning skies the best time to view the three planets.
Gazers won't even need telescopes to witness this spectacular event, as the triangle will be one of the brightest objects in the sky on that morning, though using telescopes is still highly recommended.
The formation of this triad is known in astronomy as a conjunction, wherein two celestial bodies that are close to the ecliptic, or the sun's path, cross and are temporarily brought closer together when observed from Earth. The phenomenon has been connected to other famous historical events such as the biblical Star of Bethlehem.
Several conjunctions have already happened in the past, like the alignment of Jupiter and Venus last June 2015.
"The spectacle of the two brightest planets so close together is beautiful and really unusual," said Robin Scagell, vice president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, regarding the chance alignment last June.
Astrologers claim that rare planetary events will have an effect on certain people's moods, but when it comes to Earth, astronomers said that the public won't need to expect anything extraordinary.
"These planetary groupings in the sky have no effect on Earth or human affairs," said Alan MacRobert, contributor at a stargazing website. If these heavenly bodies do have any effect on the public, it is grabbing and dazzling their attention.
"They can lift our attention away from our own little world into the enormous things beyond. That's what amateur astronomers do all the time," MacRobert said.
Photo: Christian Reusch | Flickr