Christmas is special in its very own and unique way, but this year there’s one more reason that’ll make it even more extraordinary and remembered forever. This Christmas one very rare occurrence will take place.
People will be able to witness Jupiter and Saturn’s move towards each other in Earth’s night sky. What is so amazing about it is that the distance between them has not been so close for nearly 800 years. Since this is a very rare opportunity, it’ll be great if you grab your telescopes, hope for a clear sky and get ready to see this unusual sight.
Jupiter and Saturn’s movement towards one another
The celestial synchronization has been going on since this summer. It was then, when Jupiter and Saturn started moving towards one another. Astronomers say that between 16th and 25th December, the distance between them will be 1/5th diameter of a full moon.
Physically, these two planets won’t be near each other at all. However, for all the people looking at them from such a distance, they’ll appear as if there is only one single point of bright light up there, in the night sky. The astronomer Patrick Harigan, from Rice University says that alignments between these two planets are visible once in 20 years.
But what makes this one very special is that this year the planets will appear to be extremely close to each other. The latest such obvious alignment between this two planets happened before the first sunlight on 4 March, 1226. Anyway, in order to have a good glimpse at this alignment, you need to be places somewhere near the Equator. But if the sky’s clear, you would be able to see it from any place on Earth.
If you want to have a good look at this occurrence, you need to face your telescope towards the west sky. The two planets can be seen only at night, when the sun goes down and it will last for 60 minutes, every day.
As said before, this does not happen very often, but in March, 2080 it is likely to happen one more time. After that, these two planets won’t come so close to each other up until 2400. So this is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Something pretty awesome is going around the Solar System! So everyone in possession of a telescope should be looking forward to this situation.