QNHG members observe rare celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

PHOTOS: Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn as seen from Des Moines

While in actuality the two planets are millions of miles apart, from some perspectives, the planets may appear to overlap and create a double planet affect. Jupiter and Saturn haven't been this close to each other in about 400 years, and it's been almost 800 years since they were seen at night. Jupiter passes its neighbor Saturn in their respective laps around the sun every 20 years.

The 2020 great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226.

Some other nice sights were also photographed, courtesy local Photographer Elston Hill.

Stargazers look through a telescope to observe the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

Due to their appearing as one bright shining star so close to December 25 they have been dubbed the "Christmas" Star, just as described in the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ. "Tonight they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm's length will easily cover both planets in the sky".

The planets Saturn and Jupiter will appear to be a bright single star in the early evening hours Monday December 21.
Courtesy
The planets Saturn and Jupiter will appear to be a bright single star in the early evening hours Monday December 21. Courtesy

"Conjunctions like this could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits", said Throop.

NASA says the conjuntion taking place on the winter solstice is merely a coincidence, based on the orbits of the planets and the tilt of the Earth.

Crowds gathered at the Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas on Tuesday night to view the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Additionally, the planetary alignment came just a few days before Christmas, with many dubbing the bright event a "Christmas Star", adding even more to the astronomical excitement.

"From our vantage point, we'll be able to see Jupiter on the inside lane, approaching Saturn all month and finally overtaking it on December 21".

Related:

Comments


Other news