The alignment of the planets and love approaching war.. astronomical phenomena in the sky of the Arabs

The sky of the Kingdom and the Arab world witnessed a rare astronomical phenomenon at dawn today, Friday, during which the planets appear clearly in a common line with the moon in what is known as the “alignment of the planets.”

Followers were able to see the astronomical phenomenon with the naked eye, in an event that repeats every 18 years, that is, it cannot be seen again until 2040.

The visible or aligned planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, which are what are known as the “visible planets”, which are arranged according to their natural order of distance from the sun.

The phenomenon is not the only one that has appeared in the sky of the past week, as the sky of the Arabs witnessed the conjunction of the moon with Mars and Venus with the seven sisters (the Thuraya cluster).

alignment of planets

The alignment of the planets occurs when a group of major cars in the solar system appear in approximately one row in the same region of the sky, according to the Jeddah Astronomical Society.

The phenomenon is seen from Earth and in space on the same side of the sun, where everyone can see the alignment of the planets from anywhere, provided that the eastern horizon is completely exposed and not obscured by buildings or natural terrain.

And Eng. Majed Abu Zahira, President of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah, stated that the planet Mercury will be low towards the horizon, while the other planets will be high in the sky.

He explained that observing the planetary alignment took place an hour before dawn when the prominent planets: Jupiter, Saturn and Venus planets, appeared clearly among the stars very bright.

Mars appeared to the left of Jupiter and Mercury to the left of Venus, forming an arc from east to south.

He pointed out that the alignment of the planets on one line is not in the literal sense, the planets never align in a perfectly straight line.

He explained that they do not all revolve around the sun in the same plane, but in different orbits, so they will never line up identically, contrary to what is common.

The five planets are known as the visible planets because they can be seen without the use of binoculars or a telescope, and they are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

The symbol of love is paired with the symbol of war

According to the engineer, Majed Abu Zahira, the sky of the Arab world was observed during the hours before sunrise on Thursday morning, the conjunction of the moon with the planet Mars.

The moon and Mars were observed in conjunction and separated by about 2 degrees in a phenomenon seen with the naked eye, towards the southeast horizon.

He explained that because the apparent distance between the Moon and Mars is wide, they do not appear together in the telescope’s field of view, but this can be done through binoculars.

On the importance of following and monitoring the movement of the planet Mars, the President of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah said that observing the brightness of Mars on a weekly basis is very important to know its change until the day of the meeting in the month of December.

He added that the changes in the brightness of Mars (and its red color) is the reason why the ancients called this planet after the god of war, sometimes the god of war rested and sometimes it became violent, which is the secret of the wonderful sight of Mars in the night sky.

The brightness of Mars in the sky of Earth

Mars is not a large planet with a diameter of 6,790 km, which makes it just over half the size of Earth (about 12,750 km in diameter), unlike Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.

Jupiter has a diameter of 140,000 km, and more than 20 planets the size of Mars can be aligned side by side in front of Jupiter, so Jupiter always looks bright, because it is very large, but this is not the case for small Mars, whose brightness is related to its proximity or distance from our planet. .

Mars revolves around the sun outside of Earth’s orbit and the distance between Earth and Mars varies, sometimes Earth and Mars are on the same side of the solar system and close together, and sometimes, as was the case for most of 2021, Mars and Earth were on roughly opposite sides of the Earth The sun, the back of Mars dimmed.

The reason the red planet is sometimes so bright is because Earth takes a year to orbit the sun once, while Mars takes about two years to orbit once.

The conjunction of Mars occurs, when the Earth passes between Mars and the Sun, every two years and 50 days; So the brightness of Mars is waning and increasing in the sky about every two years.

Because Mars has another 15-year orbit of bright and faint encounters, 2018 was a very special year when the planet was much brighter than it has been since 2003, which astronomers have dubbed “perihelion Mars.”

Venus and the Pleiades Cluster

Thursday’s sunrise also witnessed the observation of the Thuraya cluster in the upper left of the planet Venus (Venus).

The Jeddah Astronomical Society stated that Venus is associated with the Pleiades star cluster annually, and the best of these conjunctions occur in the month of April, as happened in April 2020, when the planet apparently passed by only a quarter of a degree south of the star (Alison), the brightest star within the Pleiades, which was an exceptional case of conjunction and one of the best pairings during the current century.

Venus appeared before sunrise towards the northeastern horizon at the height of its brilliance, but the Pleiades cluster cannot be seen from inside cities due to light pollution, so there is a need to use binoculars to see the phenomenon that appears as a cosmic jewelry box.

The Pleiades cluster is known as the “Seven Sisters”, and it resembles the stars of the Little Bear shrouded in mist, and it consists of young stars that formed only 100 million years ago – during the age of the dinosaurs, and the largest members of this cluster are blue-white stars 5 times wider than the sun.

And the ancient Arabs considered that whoever sees 7 stars from the Pleiades cluster is acute-sighted, as it is about 400 light-years away, and falls within the limit of vision with the naked eye when looking at it on a clear night.