Planets will align in Western sky

May 15, 2013

A rare planetary alignment will treat sky watchers to a spectacular sunset later this month. Utah residents with an unobstructed view of the Western horizon will be able to see the formation which NASA is calling the “Sunset Triangle.” A YouTube video about the unique event explains what to watch for.

NASA says the triple conjunction is fairly rare. The last time it happened was May 2011 and it won’t appear again until October 2015.

Patrick Wiggins is NASA’s ambassador to Utah. He says the cosmic dance reminds us of how much movement is going on in space.

“Basically we’re going to be watching the solar system in motion. People go out at night and they watch everything move slowly across the sky, but they never think of planets (which by the way – the word planet means ‘wanderer.’) they never really think of planets moving around up there. But for the next couple of weeks, here in Utah, we’re very easily going to see this happening especially around the 26.”

Wiggins says the alignment can easily be seen by the naked eye and that it’s possible to see it forming a few days before May 26.

For more information, visit the NASA website.

Sunset Triangle Utah Nasa
A screenshot from NASA's YouTube video on the Sunset Triangle.
Credit NASA