Observing the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Long Island

03 Décembre, 2020, 16:23 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The 'Christmas Star' will illuminate the December sky for the first time in 800 years

Photos of Jupiter, Left and Saturn taken by Hubble Telescope in 2019. However, it is also being said that this fantastic view will be seen throughout the week.

Between 16th to 25th December 2020, the distance between the two planets will be less than the width of the full moon, and they will keep getting closer until the day of the Winter Solstice, 21st December when the gap will be around a fifth of the width of the full moon.

According to Scitech daily, Astronomer Patrick Hartigan from Rice University said, "Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another".

Oliver said the last time the two planets appeared this close was in 1623, or 14 years after Galileo created his first telescope.

"Only astronomers would really know, but they didn't have social media to tell people, 'Hey!' She said: Look at this!" This time in the month of Christmas something is going to happen that has not happened in the last 800 years.

The two planets are now approaching each other in Earth's sky, Oliver said.

"You would be lucky to see this once in a lifetime", he said.

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It's like the teens dancing in high school: They get closer together, "Oliver said". This is because both these planets will come very close and humans will be able to see them.

Stargazers are in for quite the treat four days just before Christmas.

"The further north a viewer is, the less time they'll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon".

Next time there will be a chance to see Jupiter and Saturn together, but the sky is high, March 15, 2080, Oliver said.

In other words, don't miss out.

"2020 is a great year for astronomy, and a lot of unbelievable things have happened in the night - and day - sky", Oliver said.

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