Astronomer Charles Lineweaver Explains Planetary Alignment Using Putty And Strings

20/01/2016 3:33 PM AEDT | Updated January 20, 2016 15:37
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We've put man on the moon, split the atom and we walk around with things in our pocket that give us instant access most of the planet's data -- but some playdough and string still get the job done when explaining the complexities of our universe.

Australian National University based researcher at the school of astronomy and astrophysics, Dr Charles Lineweaver, did just that, gleefully using the prop to explain the upcoming alignment of our solar system's planets and how best to see it.

It's the first time in a decade five planets visible to the naked eye will align.

"This is something that will last, go on for about a week so you can see it tomorrow morning if you get up early, the next morning, probably even better tomorrow, the next day, the next day," he told ABC News 24.

"This alignment will go on for a week."

He explained Mercury will be getting further away from the sun, making it more easily visible, while Jupiter can be sighted from 11pm. A few hours after that: Mars.

"I have a demonstration," said Lineweaver, introducing the audience to his mind bending and possibly futuristic science device.

charles lineweaver

Still, simple is often best, and Lineweaver left his audience in no doubt of what'll be happening during the upcoming celestial dance.

"Instead of this small, it will be aligned all the way across half the sky in six hours, because these planets come up and come up and come up and each one is separate.

"They are separated by half the sky. That's how this line that I have to make very narrow on TV will be spread out across about half the sky."

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