March - Astronomical calendar 2023

March: Planetary alignment

There are days when it is especially pleasant to get up early to observe the sky. At the end of April 2022, shortly before dawn, four planets lined up perfectly on the eastern horizon: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Also present, but not visible to the naked eye, were Neptune and the asteroid Vesta, a giant 530 km in diameter located in the asteroid belt. As can be seen, all the planets are always very close to the ecliptic (the path of the Sun across the sky throughout the year) as their orbits lie approximately in the same plane. The ISS wanted to join the family photo by crossing precisely at the moment this image was taken. The Moon is responsible for the illumination of the landscape.

Author: Daniel López / IAC

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Daniel López
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