by Carolyn Gramling Monday, October 26, 2015
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.
© 2008-2021. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of any of the contents of this service without the expressed written permission of the American Geosciences Institute is expressly prohibited. Click here for all copyright requests.