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Rare Planetary Alignment To Occur For The First Time In 18 Years

Five planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are set to appear in alignment with the crescent moon Tuesday night. 

The planetary alignment is anticipated to be visible in the night sky next to the moon. These five planets last aligned back in 2004, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 

In an interview with Good Morning America, Bill Cooke, NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center, said that the crescent moon is expected to be halfway lit up just above Mars. 

“Perhaps the hardest to see with your eye will be the planet Mercury, [which] will be the one closest to the horizon, and right beside it will be a brighter object, planet Jupiter,” Cooke said. 

Venus is expected to be the brightest and easiest planet to spot, while Uranus can be more difficult to find, according to Cooke. 

“All of them will be visible within 10 degrees and that’ll be pretty darn impressive,” Cooke said. “I’m always partial to Saturn because of the rings, right? I mean, who can resist?”

A planetary alignment occurs when several planets form a line, or an arc, as seen from the sun, according to NASA.

Cooke teased another planetary alignment anticipated for Sept. 8, 2040, that includes Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mars. 

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Rare Planetary Alignment To Occur For The First Time In 18 Years

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About Andrew Menjivar