MAY 29, 2017 9:17 AM PDT

Would something cosmic happen if the planets aligned?


Did you know that a three-planet alignment, called a conjunction, is actually quite common? It happens every two years or so - the last one happened in October, 2015! A four planet conjunction isn't as common - the last one occurred in 2002 and we won't be able to see that again until 2040. So, as you can guess, if you want to experience a conjunction of all the planets, you'll most likely be waiting a long time (millions of years throughout reincarnation after reincarnation). And it may not be worth the wait, because while an eight-planet conjunction may sound like a super cosmic occurrence, nothing much actually happens.

Although yes, the planets are large and therefore have a lot of gravitational force, they are also very far away from each other, which is why lining them up wouldn't actually create any significant changes in gravity or orbits. On Earth, we would only feel an extra 2% on the pull of our tide, which is not enough to make a noticeable or lasting impact. In fact, in 1964 there was a line-up of the sun, moon, and the closest six planets in the solar system! And... nothing happened. So instead of holding your breath for this astronomic event, go out and enjoy the stars and planets!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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