default | grid-3 | grid-2

Post per Page

Set your Alarm: Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon will be Aligning to form a smiley face


Smiley face’ – when you hear that, most likely you would think of an emoticon, not planets aligning to form one!
The moon, Jupiter and Venus are going to be showing off  for us on the 16th of May 2020, by aligning in a rare position that will form a smiley face in the sky!
This rare spectacle is called conjunction and is not to be missed, as the last time this happened was 12 years ago in 2008, so not a regular occurrence. In 2007 this also happened in the Philippines when the sky lit up at night.



An explanation by Space.com of alignment, or occultation  is it “happens when one object passes in front of another from an observer’s perspective. A simple example is a solar eclipse. From a certain area on Earth, the Moon passes in front of the sun and either partially or totally blocks the light. So, we can say that the sun is eclipsed or occulted.
Venus passed in front of Jupiter in 1818 and more than likely this occultation will happen again in 2065.
Even thought this occurrence that will take place in May might seem to be an occultation, it is actually a conjunction, RMG explains, “In astronomy, a conjunction occurs when any two astronomical objects (such as asteroids, Moons, planets, and stars) appear to be close together in the sky, as observed from Earth.
What is particularly interesting with this special event is how the human brain identifies with it.  As when we see this phenomenon, our minds are geared to ‘take a picture’ of it to give it a ‘label’ and in this scenario, it will be a smiley face. Actually it is just planets aligning during their usual cycle around the sun, but forming a smiley face sounds appealing!
What is rare, is that Jupiter does not usually align so close to the moon as Venus regularly does once a month. So now when Jupiter does, it will look like it and Venus are two eyes and the moon is the big mouth with a delightful smile.


Australia saw this event in 2008 at nighttime between 20h00 and 23h00 with Jupiter being the right eye and Venus being the left one. The next time they will see this happen again in in 2036.
So if you would like to see the skies smiling down on you, remember to look up on the 16th of May 2020!

44 comments

Unknown said...

This can't be right... Venus is still in the evening sky and Jupiter in the morning on the date given.

Bill Robinson said...

Completely wrong article. I think they got this from a mistake made by the BBC. The planets in conjunction are Jupiter and Saturn with closest approach May 17. How about some copy editing folks?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the date, what about time? What time on the 16th?

gbarnold said...

Jupiter and Saturn will form the eyes--Venus is in the evening sky on that date. Further more the Moon will not have a smiley appearance--it will be a waning nearly half phase facing towards the rising Sun. Also this will not be visible from the Western Hemisphere.

Ty Adar said...

Nope, the closest approximation of this will be on May 12th, with Jupiter and Saturn (not Venus which will still be in the evening sky, a thin crescent if you have a telescope). The Moon will be gibbous, nearing third quarter with the terminator roughly in line with Jupiter rather than bottomed into a smile.

Madame7 said...

this cannot be true. I have a lunar phase app and it shows a half moon (last quarter) on that date, not a crescent moon. The waning crescent is on 5/20 and the waxing crescent is 5-26. I'd like to think an astronomy website could at least get the lunar phase correct in a post like this.

Unknown said...

Incorrect ahahahah

Klipsi said...

totally fake clickbait

elektromagnetis said...

Y'all should stay away from drugs.

Unknown said...

Wow fact check much?? This is so wrong I don't even know what to say

Unknown said...

Come on, folks, check things out before you post them. This is complete equine excrement.

kshetline said...

Not only is the announcement for this year incorrect. I can't find anything in 2008 like the event described that supposedly could be seen from Australia.

On December 1st, 2008, there is a close approach of the moon, Venus, and Jupiter, but it's nowhere near tight enough a formation to look anything like a smiley face.

Indy said...

Wow. I'm...exceptionally disappointed with this reported article. Seriously physics-astronomy.com? You *really* posted this?? You used to be a site I looked towards as having reputable information, but this sinks your ship hard.

Unknown said...

so much sensational crap out here these days ...bored being home ..huh....look stuff up..

Frogntoads2 said...

False information
Those planets are not even near each other right now

yeloow85 said...

Is this when "the sun is in the southern sky, and Jupiter aligns with Mars"?!

Unknown said...

If also visible it shouldnt be hard to spot uranus

Unknown said...

As mentioned above this is wrong. Venus and the Moon will have a conjunction Sunday, April 26, evening twilight. Venus and MERCURY will be at conjunction May 23-24 along with the Moon in the evening sky. Jupiter, Saturn and the waning crescent Moon will be within 2-3 degrees of each other in the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 12 over in Sagittarius. Not sure how these folks screwed this up so, but they're wrong! Visit StarGeezerAstronomy on FB

Michael Tadashi said...

The admin of this page has just put his/her reputation down to negative infinity.

Brent said...

The very least you could do is fact-check your article using any number of free planetarium programs before posting this drivel

Unknown said...

Why is this article still here, on an astronomy site, when it is totally incorrect?

Matthew O said...

Dear Physics-Astronomy.com: You are SO WRONG on this that it is laughable and you have lost all credibility. I will not waste any more bandwith commenting on this bildge.

John said...

Sent them a message via their "Contact Us" link... still here, well, we now know this isn't a "science" site worth going to.

Michael Harrison said...

Why have you *STILL* not fixed this article?

Terry said...

As many have pointed out, this is completely wrong. Here's what things look like on that date:
https://imgur.com/a/y5slaOB

John Roberts said...

The DISCLAIMER page on this website states at http://www.physics-astronomy.com/p/www.html:
"The information contained in this web site may be changed without any notice."

Above this, in order to see the word 'disclaimer', you must highlight the white space. Large bold white font. That's nice. How scientific. Prank much?

Therefore, the information on this website can be changed/edited/fudged,hoaxed/etc without regard to the facts.

Andrew Hill said...

At least this article has served one purpose - to remind me not to believe anything this site tells me, and to make sure I never share a link of theirs or recommend them to my astro-buddies.
OK - that's three purposes :P

Curt Thurston said...

Goskywatch can't come up with any conjunction like this at any time in the US, UK or SE Asia.

mentummike said...

I can't believe this. I guess one should know what this site is about from one of their headlines:

"NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope discovered an Earth-like planet circling a nearby star within the Goldilocks zone of our galaxy."

This would lead "fans" to believe that the galaxy has a "goldilocks zone", when in fact the Goldilocks zone refers to a planet's distance to its own star.

Int'ly acclaimed music educator said...

This is most cute! And from the point of astrology, I believe this is a very positive alignment... too

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

FAKE NEWS! This story is fake. The story of the 2008 occurrence in the Philippines is also fake. And this site should apologize to its readers. Claiming to be a science-based site and falling for this made up story is reprehensible.
Venus & Jupiter are on opposite sides of the sun this month.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/05/01/no-there-wont-be-a-smiley-face-in-the-night-sky-in-may-but-something-else-will-make-you-happy/#6f48da965872

Unknown said...

Maybe the entire site is fake news like "The Onion".

scientificmystic said...

Poorly reported "science," like this, is what gives Astrology a bad reputation.

Unknown said...

what day well they a line to be a smiley face

Unknown said...

NEVER! It's totally fake! The Moon crescent will never be horizontal when it is near the horizon at sunrise or sunset. That is the only time the moon can be near Venus, since Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth. When the moon is near Venus in the sky, the crescent of the Moon is vertical.

rbeast said...

#fakenews

Unknown said...

What's up guys? No comment from Physics.Astronomy? TAKE IT DOWN ALREADY!

Unknown said...

But in which hemisphere?

Rottiegirl55 said...

Fake! So disappointing.

Kevin Key said...

On May 17, the "mouth" (crescent moon) will be covered with a face mask.

K said...

What is the point of someone going to the trouble of writing this? Some kind of turd I suspect.

Unknown said...

Fake News.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/05/01/no-there-wont-be-a-smiley-face-in-the-night-sky-in-may-but-something-else-will-make-you-happy/

Unknown said...

this is fake

Error Page Image

Error Page Image

Oooops.... Could not find it!!!

The page you were looking for, could not be found. You may have typed the address incorrectly or you may have used an outdated link.

Go to Homepage