When will the planets align?

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I was watching Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and I have heard of something to the effect that at some point in our lifetime (other yahoo answer people are saying 12/21/12) that the planets ...show more
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Well, technically, the planets will never perfectly align. If you are looking at it from a 2-D perspective (from above) it seems that they would. However, if you look at a 3-D perspective, you will see that the planets are not all on the same level.

The planets when they do get close enough to be considering in alignment, there won't be too much to notice from it. If you are an astronomer or know what to look for, then you would have something interesting to look at in the sky in the weeks leading to and after the alignment. What you will be able to see is the planets grouped very close togehter.

In no way will this cause an eclipse. Mercury and Venus are way too small and too far away to cast a shadow on the Earth. The only thing that can cause an eclipse is the moon. That happens all the time already so you don't need an alignment to see that. You may have to travel to a different part of the world to really get a view of it though.

Some people have claimed that when the alignments of the planets happens, their increased gravity wreck havoc on Earth. That is not true. The alignment will not increase their gravity or combine the effects of their gravity. The gravity that Mars or Venus impact on Earth is insignificant and would be impossible to measure. The same goes for the planets that are even further away. The gravity of Jupiter (the planet with the most gravity in our solar system) has no effect on Earth. The closest Jupiter ever gets to Earth is 365 million miles. The effects of its gravity is weaker and weaker as you move away from it. After 365 million miles, there is almost nothing left to feel. So, the alignment of planets will not cause something bad to happen on Earth.

Here is an article that discusses this a bit.

Now, the 2012 thing. The Mayan calendar ends in 2012 or at least it is supposed to start a new cycle in 2012. Some people have interpreted this to mean that the world will end in 2012. This will pass like all of the previous end of the world prophecies in the past. The appointed time will come and go and the world will still be here. The end of the world prophecy crowd will move on and find another prophecy to worry about. Also, the next big planet alignment is in 2010.

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Thank you for that answer. I'll look into it more. I am looking to becoming an amateur astronomer.
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  • Troasa answered 7 years ago
    A.Mercer is very accurate. I can add that a planetary alignment will never happen. Such an event is calculably impossible within the 10 billion life span of our Solar System.

    A total planetary alignment including the Moon would raise tides a whopping 1 1/2 inches. The only eclipses of any significance are caused by the Moon, not by any of the inner planets. The gravity of the outer planets does not have any significant impact upon Earth.

    Most of the hype about 2012 is untrue disinformation. Including the planetary alignment. Persons such as Connie above are easily misled by things they do not understand nor take the time to research. Nostradamus never mentions anything about 2012. His quatrains require an in-depth analysis to piece together. They were not written cronologically. Anyone who states that a pole reversal will occur in 2012 is plainly lying. Simple research will indicate that IF the magnetic field continues it's present decline, a possible reversal could occur between 3500 and 4000 AD. However, such a decline is NOT expected and fluctuations of the field are normal and have happened randomly in the past without a reversal as a consequence. Unfortunately, some people such as Connie hear something and immediately accept it as truth without conducting any study to verify the validity first. That's how so much of this 2012 nonsence gets circulated.

    Movies are made for entertainment purposes only.

    You may google total planetary alignment to verify that it will never happen. Also here is a site where you can see the planetary positions in 2012 for yourself. You will easily notice that the planets will be nowhere close to aligning in either 2010 or 2012. Get your science information from science websites only.


    Lastly, I'd like to clarify a statement from Roy below-
    The Sun is NOT aligning with the galactic plane. This is also a confusion from misinterpreted fact. Just as stars and constellations appear from Earth to go around in the sky, so to does the Milky Way go up and down in the sky in relation to the rising Sun. This is caused by precession (a wobble in Earth's rotation). When people say that the Sun aligns with the Milky Way in 2012 (actually it is a much longer stretch of at least 4 years in both sides of 2012), it is only in reference to the Sun rising when the Milky Way appears low on the horizon. The Milky Way has not moved and the Sun has not moved. This is something AS VIEWED FROM EARTH. That's all.
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  • morningfoxnorth answered 7 years ago
    The five classical planets (visible to the eye) will "align" on 12/21/2012 within 135 degrees of each other. Mars will be on one side of the "alignment", and Jupiter on the other, with Mercury, Venus, and Saturn in between.

    That's not much of an alignment in my book; it should be 60 degrees or less to be interesting.
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  • Zeta Reticuli answered 7 years ago
    Again, the odds *against* all 8 (..or 9..) planets aligning in a straight line are astronomical. Not only is such an alignment virtually impossible, but you must consider that none of the planets are ever perfectly aligned along the ecliptic; there's always at least one or two above or below that plane.

    Even if an absolute planetary alignment would occur, that wouldn't cause a total eclipse as you suggest. A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between Earth and the sun. The only two planets between us and the sun other than the moon are Venus and Mercury, and neither of them is large enough to bring about a total eclipse.

    The 12/21/12 alignment deals with the sun's alignment with the center of our galaxy. Most of the time it's above or below that plane.
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  • Renaissance Man answered 7 years ago
    An alignment usually means that, as seen from the sun, all the planets are in the same direction. This would have no effect here on earth.
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  • campbelp2002 answered 7 years ago
    The planets will not align in your lifetime. Certainly not in 2012. Anyway, there is no term in astronomy called an "alignment". Astronomers speak of conjunctions and oppositions and quadratures and other kinds of geometric arrangements, but the term "alignment" only appears in pseudo scientific mumbo-jumbo articles. It isn't really clear what they mean by it. It has no real scientific definition that astronomers would use.
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  • Connie C answered 7 years ago
    The History Channel just had a segment on this the other night about Nostidomus's lost book and in it it mentions the alignment of the planets in Dec. of 2012 check it out it has an explaintion of what will possibly happen also National Geographic channel talks about the North and South poles flipping at about the same time from this event it was on last night put the two together and and there is your answer.


    history channel
    national geographic channel
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