April has brought a rare celestial sight not just for sky gazers with telescopes but for every person to see from the naked eye. In a wonderous planetary alignment, the sky from Earth will have a belt featuring Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter, all visible lined up next to each other. The rare spectacle begins on Sunday (April 17) and will be continue till the coming Wednesday. In addition, another rare sight in a ‘Pink Moon’ will also be visible this weekend.
It will be visible at its majestic best on April 20. Mars and Venus were earlier joined by Jupiter and Saturn will complete the formation. The extraordinary cosmic dance of four planets will be visible early in the morning before sunrise.
Around April 19, Saturn will join as the four planets line up diagonally. The event can be viewed from India but visibility of all four planets depends on pollution levels in your region.
The order of the alignment of the planets will be Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn. Jupiter’s visibility may not be easy due to its proximity to the horizon. Such a celestial event was earlier seen in 2005.
The present celestial event will be like the 2020 event when Jupiter and Saturn alignment was visible with the naked eye. The event will be followed by Moon joining the theatre around the end of April as Venus and Jupiter align.
What is a planetary alignment?
A planetary alignment or conjunction is when planets are visible in Earth’s sky close to each other and in a line. While they appear close, they aren’t anyway near each other, separated by millions of kilometres. Such spectacles are visible to us as the orientation at which we view our neighbouring planets changes as the Earth rotates as it orbits the Sun.