Planets align in the North Eastern skies
looking from Sydney's Western suburbs
Pic: Bill Hearne
The alignment of the four planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, happens only once every 50-100 years and very rarely on Friday 13th. The visual treat was visible just above the horizon around sunrise.
Professor Fred Watson, astronomer-in-charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in NSW, said, "Venus is the brightest of all the planets and stunningly bright at the moment. Jupiter (will be) right next to it Friday morning, about half a degree away. Then the other planets, Mercury and Mars, are sort of in accompaniment - Mercury's nearer than Mars is and Mars is the one that is nearest to the horizon at the moment. That's four of the five naked-eye planets all in a fairly close-knit community in the early morning sky. What's special about this one is that they've come together in such a tight grouping."
Astrologer Douglas Parker believes the alignment has the power to influence behaviour and emotions down on Earth. He says his horoscope chart shows the four planets are actually very close to each other for about a week. "Jupiter and Venus together indicates people born around this time will have film-star mannerisms, be extremely popular and have considerable artistic ability," he said.
And, he says, it gets better. "Venus and Mars together in the sky indicates people born around this time will have a strong sexual magnetism and a strongly sensual nature," he said.
But Professor Watson says the alignment of the planets has no impact on human behaviour. "The whole science community, not just astronomy, tells us that the planets have no direct influence on anything that goes on here on Earth," he said. "The gravitational attraction of the planets, which is the only thing that could make any difference, is far too small to have any effect, unlike the moon which is a small object relatively nearby that does have an effect - it raises tides.
"The ancient tradition of trying to say that planets influence people will take great notice of the alignment of the planets, but from an astronomical and scientific point of view, and might I say from a reasonable point of view, they have no impact whatsoever."
I'm more inclined to believe Professor Watson.
Source: ABC News and The Daily Telegraph