A Rare Planetary Alignment
(Six Naked-Eye Planets in a Single Photo)
Every few decades we inhabitants of Earth get to see a line-up of all 5 naked-eye planets. The other planets are too faint to be visible by the naked eye. The alignment on 6th May 2002 was as depicted in this sketch below, copied from "The Sky" astronomy software. Imagine yourself in the sketch below, on Earth looking west, just after sunset. Even though we often refer to the 5 naked-eye planets, there are actually six, including our beloved Earth :-)
Juno and Vesta are Minor Planets, often called Asteroids. So here below is a photo taken looking west from our local beach at Azaiba. Such planetary alignments, perhaps because of their rarity, assume great significance to astrologers, much less so to astronomers. Anyway, it was a hot evening, with a temperature quite likely above 40 deg C:
Of course, a layman looking up might not notice anything unusual. The names of the planets and the more prominent stars are given in the annotated photo.
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