The Moon, Venus, And Jupiter Will Align To Form A Smiley Face This May

The Moon, Venus, And Jupiter Will Align To Form A Smiley Face This May

This phenomenon last occurred in 2008.

Source: Twitter/ BBC Radio Tees

Times are difficult and we could all do with some positivity, and that can even mean witnessing a really rare occurrence of planets aligning in the night sky. When aligned with the moon's phase, the positioning of the planets and the moon will look like a smiling face looking down on us! This event is guaranteed to put a smile on our face and this doesn't really have anything to do with astrology. The Moon, Venus, and Mars will align to create what seems similar to a smiley face and it's really quite something to look forward to. 



Though this is considered to be quite a rare astronomical phenomenon, it has happened quite a few times in recent history. However, that being said, it isn't always that easy to spot it. The scientific term for this occurrence is called an occultation, and it happens when a crescent Moon is positioned directly between Venus and the Earth, ABS-CBN News reports.  Due to the precise and intricate placement of the two planets, people in certain parts of the world will be able to see a happy smiley face, whereas people in other parts will see the same thing, but upside down. 



Basically, this phenomenon occurs due to the moon's orbit around the Earth, and the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Depending on what latitude you view this occurrence from, you will see the moon in the shape of a ā€˜Uā€™ (where it's lit on the bottom) rather than a backward ā€˜Cā€™ (where it's lit on the side). So it has everything to do with the place you're watching it from,  deciding on whether you get to catch a glimpse or not. This cosmic event was visible way back in 2008, in Asia. It was again visible from Australia and the far south, as well as North America in 2012. These events are visible only in the evening sky for a short period after sunset.



Every part of the world can witness this rare phenomenon. It is especially more visible in cities that are said to be hampered by severe light pollution, like NYC or Hong Kong. The image of the occurrence from last time shows the smiley face bright and as clear as it can be. This is another great example of the phenomenon known a "pareidolia", which translates to seeing meaningful images on otherwise random data or scenery. It can be seeing faces or shapes in the clouds, in ripples on a lake or... a smiley face in the night sky. It is a rather common phenomenon, especially in relation to astronomy.



Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are the 3 brightest celestial objects in our skies and you can witness a 'smiley face moon conjunction' that will occur over North America, May 16, 2020. Larry Sessions of EarthSky.org, a forum and blogging community for scientists and science enthusiasts, said it is "not unusual for the moon to appear to pass close to Venus" since this happens about once a month. However, the occurrence to be seen on May 16 (Sunday) is said to be rare because these events "are only visible in the evening sky half the time and then only for a short period after sunset. The apparent closeness varies from month to month as well," Sessions stated.


Recommended for you