MAY 29, 2017 09:17 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.
You May Also Like
OCT 24, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 24, 2018
The Importance of Removing Space Junk From Low-Earth Orbit
Space junk is a growing concern among space agencies all around the globe. Countless pieces of space junk surround the Earth in low-Earth orbit, and when t...
OCT 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 29, 2018
Here's How NASA Tests Martian Parachutes
NASA uses parachute systems throughout the solar system to ensure spacecraft land safely on other planetary bodies. One of the most prominent examples is M...
OCT 31, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 31, 2018
Do You Have What it Takes to be an Astronaut?
Have you ever wanted to become an astronaut? If yes, then you’re not alone. Being able to experience zero gravity is a mutual interest among individu...
NOV 21, 2018
Videos
NOV 21, 2018
The CDC Issues a Serious Warning About All Romaine Lettuce
Don't eat any romaine lettuce, and throw away any you may have at home....
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
What If Earth Spun the Other Way?
If once upon a time the Earth spun the other way—the seasons wouldn’t change because of the Earths tilt. But, what would change is the climate ...
DEC 04, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 04, 2018
Learn How NASA's Apollo 12 Mission Escaped Double Lightning Strikes
When NASA’s Apollo 12 mission was preparing to launch on November 14th, 1969, ominous storm clouds began swarming the launch pad. Regardless, weather...
Loading Comments...