Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Four planets align over Sydney at dawn Friday 13 May
When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars.
The age of Aquarius has arrived! Well, it will, this Friday 13th May.
In a rare planetary event, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, will appear together (within around 2 degrees of each other) in the eastern sky just before dawn this Friday. The event will be particularly spectacular for Sydneysiders. From 5am, the four planets will be clearly seen just above the horizon in the east. The brightest planet will be Venus sitting in the middle of the group. Just above and to the left of Venus and almost as bright is Jupiter. To the right of Jupiter and slightly fainter will be Mercury. Sitting below these three planets and fainter again will be Mars. The four planets are quite bright, so if you are up early enough, you will see them over city lights.
If you have been up early recently (I had the pleasure of a 5am start today for work...) you will have already noticed Venus and Jupiter together. The last time these four planets came together was in 1910, but the planets were too close to the Sun to observe. The next close grouping of these planets will not be until 2056.
“The close grouping of these particular four planets only happens every 50 to 100 years. We are hoping for a clear autumn morning for this unique sight in the southern sky,” said Sydney Observatory’s acting curator, Andrew Jacob. The event will be visible to the naked eye and Sydney Observatory is holding a breakfast viewing. If you are interested in getting along, there is more information at www.sydneyobservatory.com.au, and check out the Observatory's blog.
The last cool astrological event that we've seen in Sydney was back in 2008 when the Moon, Venus and Jupiter aligned to form a smiley face in the sky. I was a bit late for the happy face but managed to capture a grainy celestial sad face. Time will tell whether I manage to drag myself out of bed at 5am for this latest viewing - with a new born bub, you never know...
Addendum: Here's an explanation of how the alignment gave such a great view from Earth, and why my car is more likely to influence your personality - astrologically speaking - than this rare alignment.