Paper Plate Education
2002 Spring Planets
In Spring 2002 the visible planets nearly align in the same general direction east
of the sun. This translates into a stunning view at and after sunset,
with the planets strung out in a line left and upwards of the set sun.
After a day of paced dancing, each planet is in a slightly different position on
the solar system dance floor. Don't miss this celestial treat for stargazers in April and May!
Click on and print the charts above to see the planetary alignment around 9:00 p.m. (daylight time) on the respective dates in 2002. Also anticipate these evening scenes imaged by the fun folks at the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium in Pittsburgh. Venus & Mars are alright...
With a paper plate Planet Pointer you can predict the relative appearance of the planets in the western evening sky. You can also model the planets in orbit around the sun with the Dynamic Solar System activity. Or demonstrate the scale of the planets relative to the sun with a Plateful of Planets activity.
Planet gazers near South Bend, IN, can visit the Penn-Harris-Madison
Planetarium for special
observing opportunities on the above dates at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Come regardless of the weather as we explore this planetary event both in the
planetarium and with telescopes outside.
Use the Thin Crescent Moon to Find the Planets*
*Note: These charts show the sun just after sunset around 9:00 p.m.
daylight time. The brighter planets, like Jupiter and Venus, can be seen
in the bright glow of dusk. Mercury, meanwhile, once visible will only be
seen for a short time before it closely follows the sun below the horizon.
It is a short viewing window. Also, though the moon may physically be near
a planet, it may not be visible as shown on these charts until it has moved
"a few days' worth" from the sun.
Sitting In The Stand Of The Sports Arena Waiting For The Show To Begin Red Lights, Green Lights, Strawberry Wine, A Good Friend Of Mine, Follows The Stars, Venus And Mars Are Alright Tonight.
Copyright ©2012 Chuck Bueter. All rights reserved.