Dubai: Stargazers in the UAE caught a rare celestial sight as five planets — Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — formed a beautiful Large Planetary Parade before the break of dawn on Friday.
According to Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG), which organised a pre-dawn stargazing programme in Al Qudra Desert, “A planetary alignment/parade occurs when planets in the Solar System appear to line up at the same ascension level in the night sky, as seen from Earth.”
“They don’t really create a perfect line in our Solar System; each planet’s orbital plane causes the illusion. Three-planet parades are quite common and occur about twice a year. The more planets in the parade, the rarer the celestial event is. This month’s alignment is called a Large Planetary Parade which happens almost every 19 years,” DAG added.
Decades before next event
The last time a Large Planetary Parade happened was in December 2004. Hasan Al Hariri, CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group, said it will be decades before another celestial event to see the planets and moon aligned in such a manner.
Observers who woke up early on Friday were able to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn lined up with just their own eyes, forming a planetary parade spanning across the pre-dawn sky.