Conjunction injunction: Recent and future planetary alignments

by Carolyn Gramling
Monday, October 26, 2015

Distant Space. Credit: © Grindley.

February 1962: The five planets visible to the naked eye, as well as the sun and moon, all appeared within 17 degrees of each other in the sky. A concurrent solar eclipse and new moon made it possible to view the planets.

March 1982: The 1974 book “The Jupiter Effect” predicted that a grand conjunction of all of the planets in 1982 would alter Earth’s rotation, producing earthquakes and massive tides. The alignment happened — but nothing else did (although panicked residents of Los Angeles again called the Griffith Observatory for advice). A sequel to the erroneous book, “The Jupiter Effect Revisited,” was published in April 1982 and claimed that the conjunction had actually occurred two years earlier — and had triggered the Mount St. Helens eruption.

May 2000: The five innermost planets aligned within 20 degrees of the sun as viewed from Earth. The book “5/5/2000 Ice: The Ultimate Disaster” claimed that the alignment would result in crustal displacement, sending all of Earth’s polar ice to the equator.

September 2040: Here we go again. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon will again line up.

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