Space can be a wonderful, and frightening thing. Earlier this month, four planets aligned in what seemed to be a line about a prophecy that we have seen in plenty of movies. Now it appears as if something even rarer is to occur on April 30th. NASA has confirmed that Jupiter and Venus will “collide ” in the night sky. The planets will come so close to one another, that it will look as if they are going to run right into other or have collided against one another. Only those observing with binoculars and telescopes will be able to make out the planets better.
Venus and Jupiter will come close to one another to the naked eye, and it will be close enough that both planets will seem to morph with one another as one giant blob of a planet. This event is said to happen in the early morning hours, so anyone that wants to get a glimpse of this planetary alignment will have to set their alarms early. NASA has provided a video of tips and tricks to help casual astronomers get a glimpse of this rare happening. You can see the video below:
The video contains information about the upcoming “conjunctions” that take place in April, which include Venus and Jupiter seemingly forming as one. While it may look that way in the night sky on Earth, the planets are 430 million lightyears away from one another. This is four times the distance between Earth and the Sun. Even though this is said to happen in the early morning hours of April 30th, fans can also catch the planet alignment in reverse on May 1st, when the planets pass each other, at least in our view.
This is not the only alignment that is set to happen. On June 24th a deeper planetary alignment will see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus all line up even more than the four-planet alignment that just occurred. However, a telescope will be needed to see Neptune and Uranus.
NASA also claims that if Venus was to actually collide with Jupiter, it would simply be pulled into the orbit of this massive gas-based planet. It would simply become one of the 79 moons that orbit the planet. The largest of these moons is bigger than the size of Mercury. Planetary alignments are awesome, but hopefully, this doesnt mean that any of the planets will come rocketing their way into crashing into one another. Should that happen, the debris might find its way to Earth. Ok, maybe this is a bit of a sci-fi imagination, but crazier things have happened.
Anyone who wants to see the Venus and Jupiter crash into one another in the night sky will have to be up around 4 AM, if you’re in PST (pacific standard time) area, 6 AM CST (central standard time), and 7 AM EST (eastern standard time). Hopefully, the planetary alignment isn’t some bad omen either. Ok, maybe we need to stop referring to sci-fi and Indiana Jones movies. We hope everyone remembers to return the Jade Monkey.