Some are calling it the Christmas Star. Ready for viewing on December 21. This December 21.
The Internet is brimming with information. I’ve perused a few webpages and thought I’d share a bit with you.
Every 20 years, our solar system’s largest planets align during their orbits around the sun. Jupiter and Saturn’s last conjunction was in 2000. But this year is particularly special because the two will appear to separated by just one-fifth the diameter of a full moon – or 0.1 degrees – an occurrence the world hasn’t seen since the Middle Ages.
The last time Jupiter and Saturn came this close was 1623, but that conjunction was too near the sun to be seen by Earthlings. So 1226 is actually the most recent time such a close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was visible to humans.
This information comes from Worlds align this winter solstice: Look for Jupiter, Saturn in December skies Wyatte Grantham-Philips USA TODAY
I was told from a source that I cannot cite for you that this 1623 occurrence which is believed to have not been seen was about the time the Mayflower arrived here in America. Interesting. I think.
Another interesting article can be found here: A ‘Christmas Star’ we haven’t seen in 800 years will be twinkling over N.J. skies later this month
Then there is the Astronomy website with a piece entitled: Jupiter and Saturn will form rare “Christmas Star” on winter solstice
Here’s an Excerpt from Astronomy:
This December, Jupiter and Saturn will put on a show for skygazers that hasn’t been seen in roughly 800 years. Astronomers are calling it the Great Conjunction of 2020. On December 21 — coincidentally the winter solstice — the two largest planets in our solar system will appear to almost merge in Earth’s night sky.
During the event, Jupiter and Saturn will sit just 0.1 degrees apart, or a mere one-fifth the width of the Moon. The sight will likely leave many casual observers wondering “What are those large, bright objects so close together in the sky?”
In fact, Jupiter and Saturn will be so close that you will be able to fit them both in the same telescopic field of view. That’s an incredibly rare occurrence. The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close together away from the Sun was in 1226 A.D., at a time when Genghis Khan was conquering large swaths of Asia, and Europe was still generations away from the Renaissance.
Humanity won’t have to wait quite as long to see the solar system’s two largest planets repeat this month’s performance, though. Another Great Conjunction will occur in 2080. Of course, many of us alive today won’t be around then, so it would be wise to soak in this show while you can.
There is much more information at the Astronomy site, including, but not limited to, charts, helpful information to locate and experience this event; as well as a YouTube window which will be LIVE STREAMING on December 21.
So if you are interested, you might want to visit the site, bookmark it, and return on December 21.
Watching the Skies ~ ~ ~