Celestial spectacle as planets align in Kingdom

telescope looking at the great bear constellation
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — This week, the Kingdom is abuzz with excitement as a rare celestial event takes center stage. The planets Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus, and Mercury are aligning in a rare display, according to Ammar Al-Sakji, head of the Jordanian Astronomical Society.اضافة اعلان

The astronomical phenomenon can be observed starting today and will continue for several days. The optimal time to witness this alignment is just before sunrise, following the Kingdom’s local time throughout the week, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Seen by the naked eye
Sakji explained that the alignment will be visible in the eastern direction. Stargazers will be thrilled to know that Saturn and Jupiter can be seen with the naked eye by simply gazing eastward before sunrise.

However, observing the other planets will require the use of telescopes. To fully appreciate this cosmic event, enthusiasts are advised to seek out areas with minimal light pollution, such as rural and desert regions like Petra and Wadi Rum. Notably, planets do not twinkle like stars, and the brightest celestial object during this alignment will be Jupiter, easily identifiable in the sky.

The astronomical spectacle commences with the rise of Saturn after midnight, progressively occurring earlier each night until around 11:30pm, according to Jordan's local time in the forthcoming days.

Planets to be seen
Saturn will occupy the eastern skies, becoming the first planet to ascend in the constellation of Aquarius. Following Saturn is Neptune, positioned in the neighboring constellation of Pisces. Observing Neptune will necessitate the use of a telescope.

The third planet in the lineup is Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. Its brilliance will make it readily visible to the naked eye. Uranus, on the other hand, is not visible without the aid of a telescope and will be situated in the constellation of Aries.

The final planet, Mercury, will hover low on the horizon within the constellation of Taurus, requiring optical tools and astronomical skills to observe.

Furthermore, on Friday, June 23, Mars and Venus will converge forming a straight line across the western sky, and can be seen after the sunsets.

Meanwhile, Venus will appear above the Beehive Cluster, also known as the Manger, a stellar cluster of significant repute dating back to the era of Ptolemy. Arab poets have frequently praised this cluster in their verses. Galileo, using his telescope, observed 40 stars within this captivating formation, which was classified as M44 in Messier's astronomical guide. Situated approximately 600 light-years away, the Beehive Cluster showcases nearly 1,000 brilliantly colored stars, ensuring its observation in the Jordanian sky becomes a truly exceptional and beautiful event.

To observe the Beehive Cluster, a telescope is essential, along with some basic astronomical knowledge and clear weather conditions. Avoiding light pollution is crucial, making rural and desert regions of Jordan, including Wadi Rum and Petra, the ideal locations for observation.

ASakji reiterated that this alignment holds no influence over earthly events, geophysics, or terrestrial phenomena such as earthquakes.

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