WeatherTodays Forecast

Actions

The "Great Conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn set to take place on Monday Night

Default-Image_1280x720.png
Posted at 7:26 PM, Dec 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-20 20:26:37-05

On Monday night, Jupiter and Saturn will be passing the closest they have been to one another since 1623!

Often referred to as the "Great Conjunction" between the two planets, they will appear as one big star in the SW sky, the Christmas Star.

The best viewing will be away from city lights such as an open field.

You will want to look toward the southwestern sky after sunset.

Hopefully clouds will hold off, but a few fair weather clouds will be possible tomorrow night... fingers crossed!

Here is some additional information from NASA:

"The planets regularly appear to pass each other in the solar system, with the positions of Jupiter and Saturn being aligned in the sky about once every 20 years.

What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

The closest alignment will appear just a tenth of a degree apart and last for a few days. On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.

From our vantage point on Earth the huge gas giants will appear very close together, but they will remain hundreds of millions of miles apart in space. And while the conjunction is happening on the same day as the winter solstice, the timing is merely a coincidence, based on the orbits of the planets and the tilt of the Earth.

“Conjunctions like this could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits,” said Throop. “The date of the conjunction is determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun, while the date of the solstice is determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. The solstice is the longest night of the year, so this rare coincidence will give people a great chance to go outside and see the solar system.”"

------------------------------------------------------------
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to our Youtube channel