A “Congo Line” of Planets



Sky chart shows the four planets aligned in the sky.

Emilyanne Richart, Reporter

If you’re an early bird, you’re in luck this month. Starting last Sunday morning, a rare alignment of four planets shines within the dawn sky. An hour before sunrise, the naked eye can see Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn in a straight line across the southeastern sky. The planets will be in this straight line for the rest of April, so you have time to still witness this rare occasion. Just keep in mind that this treat is all a matter of perspective.

According to NASA, “Of course, the planets are actually far apart in space, and only appear to move closer, or farther apart, in the sky as our view of them across the solar system changes from month to month.”

Now you may be wondering: why is this alignment even important? Well, all of the four planet’s orbits around the sun are lining up, which doesn’t happen every day. In actuality, it doesn’t happen very often at all. Saturn’s orbit around the sun is 29 years whereas Venus’ is 225 days (in Earth time), which means that them happening to line up is a pretty interesting occurrence.

Yet, this occasion is soon to be even more intriguing. From April 25 to 27th, the moon will join the quadruple’s little “Congo line.”