Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Pleasing planetary parade

James Kon

Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) captured a rare phenomenon called the ‘Great Planet Parade’ several times recently.

The close proximity of the crescent Moon to the brilliant Venus and the bright Seven Sisters (Pleiades- M45) star cluster in the constellation Taurus at dawn was a special moment captured on June 26.

The planetary parade was easily visible to the unaided eye with the clear weather and sky watchers did not need to use binoculars or a telescope to observe the celestial spectacles.

According to PABD, the planets and the Moon will line-up and cross the pre-dawn sky throughout June, providing excellent photo and sky watching opportunities.

The phenomenon happens when the planets in the solar system gather at the same time on one side of the sun and on the night side of the Earth in June 2022.

As the planets move on a plane of the solar system known as ecliptic, it creates a line up crossing the night sky.

The five bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – and the Moon will line up and be visible to the naked eye in the coming weeks.

Unobstructed horizon is required to observe Mercury as the planet is positioned very low in the Eastern sky. Uranus and Neptune will also be included in the alignment but will require a telescope to locate them in the night sky.

The rare phenomena of all-planet parade had happened in March 1982, July 2020, and the next one is predicted in May 2161.

PABD members in a group photo. PHOTO: PABD