What are we going to be able to see on may 5th. when all planet are in a line, if the clouds don't block us?Asked by: Ana Zellhuber
AnswerUnfortunately, even if it is a crystal clear day, it will be very difficult to catch a glimpse of anything in the conjunction. The problem? The largest object in the conjunction...The sun. The planets involved in the conjunction all unfortunately are on the opposite side of the sun providing very few if any glimpses of the rare event.
On May 5th, during twilight, Mars and Mercury may be barely seem with binoculars at least, but that is about all one can expect. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but you will be hard pressed to see anything, but if you try, the Sun, Moon and five bright planets will be gathered in an area 27 degrees wide on May 3rd and 4th. The main grouping, without the moon will be on May 5th in an area of about 19 degrees. I suggest to try anyway, but don't hope for too much.
You can read more about this phenomena at following web sites:
Ask the Astronomer
Planetary Alignments in 2000
Answered by: Mike Perkins, Physics/Astronomy Major, Penn State