Twelve years ago the night sky produced a smile for all to see. Now with the earth needing a smile more than ever, the sky is aligning to provide this spectacle once again. We have everything you need to know about the May Smiley face moon below.
When is it happening?
On May 16, a crescent moon, beneath Venus & Jupiter will align in the sky to form the smile. The next occultation will not occur again until 2036 and will only be visible in Australia. It will be visible only in the evening sky for a short period after sunset.
What exactly is it?
This alignment is referred to as an occultation, however, the actual smile itself is a planetary conjunction. The conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Venus with respect to the Moon is what we will be witnessing. The event is notable not because of the planetary alignment per se but because of how it is aligned but most importantly because of how the human brain perceives it. This perception is known as pareidolia.
What is Pareidolia?
Pareidolia is the process by which the human brain is able to see meaning in random data. This plays a major role in this event when we see a smiley face in the sky because that is how our brain interprets it. This also explains why we see a man’s face on the Moon and Mars.
To celebrate this event many websites, such as emojipedia, and apps have added a full moon emoji. How will you be celebrating this rare astrological event?