Appearing as a "Christmas star", the "great conjunction" happens next Monday, December 21, which also happens to be the Winter Solstice, marking the start of the winter season. With the conjunction falling just a few days before Christmas, expect the annual discussion of "what was the star of Bethlehem?" to come to the fore once again... though biblical and historical references to the actual event are so scant, we'll probably never truly know for sure. The celestial event, also known as the "Christmas Star", hasn't occurred at night for nearly 800 years. And this conjunction of the two planets is the closest since 1623, making it a "great conjunction" - though that event wasn't visible as they were too close to the sun.
The planets will be bright enough to be seen at dusk, which may be the best time for many American viewers to notice the merger. The planets are getting closer every day until the historical conjunction on December 21, 2020.
But, if you do have the equipment you'll be able to zoom in and "watch the dance of Jupiter's four moons - Europa, Io, Callisto and Ganymede".
If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed two fairly bright objects resembling stars low in the western sky after sunset inching closer together over the past month. It will seem to be one because Jupiter and Saturn are going to appear so closely together that they'll look like one bright object. "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". A cool 800 years.
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters.
The movement of Jupiter and Saturn in our sky from December 12-30 if viewing from the Northern Hemisphere.
USA approves use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for pilots, controllers
Kevin Smith, president and chief executive of the University Health Network's Michener Institute, where the shot was administered. Another vaccine by Moderna will be reviewed by an expert panel next week and soon afterwards could be allowed for public use.
Waldron said the last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close in our line of sight was in the 1600s.
According to Astronomy.com, you won't need binoculars or a telescope to see it.
Some will call it the Christmas Star, others will refer to it as the Great Conjuction of 2020. The last Great Conjunction was in May 2000, but it was hard to see due to its position in the sky.
"You can imagine each of the solar planets as a runner in their own orbit, with the Earth orbiting the center of the arena", said astronomer Henry Troop at NASA's headquarters in NASA's Headquarters.
Other theories are a supernova explosion reasonably close - that could appear like a very very bright sky for a relatively short period, or even a comet. More than this and the Earth's rotation will smear out the planets and stars.
Between 0 and 3000 AD, or in the Common Era, only seven connections were closer than this - or two of them were so close to the sun that Hardigan says it could not be seen without a telescope.