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Prince
2002-Apr-04, 09:18 AM
http://www.rense.com/general21/fiveplanets.htm

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-04, 10:47 AM
That's not really against the mainstream, although I'm surprised there hasn't been more such. There are a couple (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=919&forum=2&4) threads (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=501&forum=2) over in General Astronomy about it.

Karl
2002-Apr-04, 10:49 AM
On 2002-04-04 04:18, Prince wrote:
http://www.rense.com/general21/fiveplanets.htm


Portentious indeed, I predict war, floods, hurricanes, famines, plagues, volcanos and earthquakes.

In other words, business as usual. . .

David Hall
2002-Apr-04, 11:01 AM
I'm sure this hasn't been heralded as doomsday because it isn't really any kind of alignment. The link even says as much. It's just a very pretty visual grouping.

Now, a real alignment, even a tenuous one, would have all sorts of wacky cults up in arms, I'm sure. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif

2002-Apr-04, 12:04 PM
On 2002-04-04 05:49, Karl wrote:


On 2002-04-04 04:18, Prince wrote:
http://www.rense.com/general21/fiveplanets.htm

HUb' 5:54 A.M. PST April 4, 2002
Portentious indeed, I predict war, floods, hurricanes, famines, plagues, volcanos and earthquakes.
my 4cast? this thread will hit 5 pages
In other words, business as usual. . .

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Apr-04, 01:12 PM
On 2002-04-04 06:01, David Hall wrote:
I'm sure this hasn't been heralded as doomsday because it isn't really any kind of alignment. The link even says as much. It's just a very pretty visual grouping.

Alignments have specific astrological meanings, but the astronomer quoted in the article explains what he means by an alignment.

"Chester considers a true alignment to be when all the planets are on the same side of the sun, and grouped within about 90 degrees -- nine fist-widths -- of each other, or closer. This occurs once in several hundred years."

I'm guessing that the 90 degrees should be measured from the point of view of the Sun--in which case the "fist-width" measure doesn't really make sense. Otherwise, from the point of view of us on Earth, the grouping in May is less than 40 degrees (Jupiter is less than thirty degrees away from the cluster of the other four--which are all less than ten degrees apart), and of course they are all on the same side of the setting Sun.

Still, before April 28 or so, they are all in the same quadrant with respect to the Sun, so I'm not sure what the article means.

Further down in the article, it says "The closest known planetary alignment in the last two millennia occurred on April 11, 1128, before most planets were identified as such, including Earth, according to Chester." The five planets that will be visible together in May are the same five planets that were identified as planets by the ancients. And we still only have nine--or fewer, depending upon how you feel about the status of Pluto. So even in 1128, most of the planets were identified as planets.

Also, it says "The display should be easy to see in most parts of the inhabited world, weather permitting, though those at extreme northern and southern latitudes may need binoculars or a small telescope, and Mercury could still be hard to spot, he said."

Mercury is going to be magnitude zero, and Mars will be magnitude 1.5. Mercury will set forty minutes before Mars, but it is not close to the Sun at all--if you miss it, it's only because you didn't look.