ISS & Chinese space station caught in photos with four planets aligned

The four-planet alignment comprising Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, has been joined by the ISS and China's Tianhe-1 station.

Published Thu, Apr 28 2022 4:43 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, May 20 2022 4:01 AM CDT

Four planets aligned with the moon in the night sky on April 23rd, and now two space stations have joined the club.

ISS & Chinese space station caught in photos with four planets aligned 01 |

Both the International Space Station and China's Tianhe-1 station joined Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, in the night sky only four days later, on April 27th in a photograph taken by Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi. Masi left his home in Rome at 4 a.m. to capture images of the aligned planets, with the moon visible and each of the space stations, which he knew would cross the same region of the sky within about fifteen minutes of each other.

"I ended-up bringing with me two Canon 5D mIV DSLR bodies, two tripods and two very different lenses: a wide field Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM. The former to capture the entire planetary parade plus Rome, the latter to capture the Jupiter, Venus and Moon meeting," Masi wrote on the Virtual Telescope Project website.

The four-planet alignment will last until early July, and NASA says the best viewing time for observers is about an hour before sunrise. Sometime in June, Mercury will join the aforementioned planets in the night sky to create a relatively infrequent five-planet alignment. Uranus and Neptune will also be visible in the same portions of the sky around the same time, though they will require binoculars and telescopes to spot, respectively.

ISS & Chinese space station caught in photos with four planets aligned 02 |
ISS & Chinese space station caught in photos with four planets aligned 03 |

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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