HONOLULU (KHON2) — On March 28, an alignment of five planets will be able to be seen above the horizon of Hawaii waters.
Bishop Museum Planetarium Manager Romee Wizza Gaoiran spoke about what planets are aligning, when the best time to see the alignment is, and where the best spot is to view them on the islands of Hawaii.
Check out more news from around Hawaii
How rare is this?
Gaoiran said this kind of alignment is rare because each planet revolves around the sun at different speeds. She references this idea to people running on a track.
“If you can imagine if you run one lap and your friend runs four laps, just trying to time when you guys are passing each other [is rare],” said Gaoiran. “Do that for two people versus five people, it’s a lot — a lot rarer.”
The alignment of three or four planets happens more frequently and there will be a couple of those sightings later this year.
Gaoiran also said the next big event to mark on the calendar will be in 2040 “for all seven alignments including earth being kind of the same side of the sun.”
What planets are aligning?
This alignment will be in between the sun at the horizon and the moon.
If you just kind of draw a line in between them, um where, where the sun is setting this evening, the planets will be along that general line.”Romee Wizza Gaoiran, Bishop Museum Planetarium manager
From the sun going upward, Gaoiran said the first planet will be Jupiter. Following Jupiter will be Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Mars. The moon in its first quarter can be seen above Mars.
When is the best time to see the alignment?
According to Gaoiran, some of these planets will be able to be seen by the naked eye and some will require binoculars or a telescope.
“If you do have a pair of binoculars that’s recommended to try to see the planet Uranus. Venus is the brightest planet that we can see in our evening sky,” said Gaoiran. “So that might be the easiest to pick out this evening.”
They will be able to be seen best between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Gaoiran said a little after sunset during the twilight hour “and only when that twilight occurs will you be able to see Jupiter and Mercury.”
Where is the best place to see the alignment in Hawaii?
Any place that has a clear unobstructed view of the western horizon is the best place to see the five planets.
“So if you’re on Oahu, even from Honolulu, it might be a little tough just because Jupiter and Mercury will be lowered to the horizon near the sunset location,” Gaoiran said. “But if you’re on the — the western side of the island or northern side, you might have a better chance of seeing it.”