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Due mostly to the varying distances planets have to travel to complete one trip around the sun, from time to time they synch up and more-or-less line up. This is a common thing in nature; it happens when waves on water from two different sources alternately reinforce and cancel out, or when two sinusoidal signals of different frequency do the same, or when an oil slick on water exhibits a rainbow effect, or when your digital camera's lens rejects glare by exploiting this effect in its anti-glare coatings, or when your old car at highway speeds alternately vibrates louder then quiets down even though you haven't changed speed, or when a multi-engine airplane's propultion system does the same. There are many more examples. It's nothing special, it's just the way nature works.
Anyway, these alignment events predicted by Astronomers (people who calculate orbits using Science) are usually seized by Astrologers (mystics who couldn't calculate an orbit to save their life) to incite fear and cash in.
I'm forced to wonder if the people who freak at the though of a planetary alignment would still be so scared if the astrologers pointed out that the effect exerted on the Earth by the combined gravity of *all* the other planets in the Solar system is less than 2% of that exerted on the Earth by the moon?
If you don't believe me, do the calculation yourself; all it requires is algebra.
-------------------- Republican Values:
1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.