Dec 21, 2020

The Christmas Star

Source: SkySafari via

Tonight, a rare planetary alignment is taking place that hasn't been viewed on Earth for almost 800 years.  Although there is a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter that occurs once every twenty years, the two planets will appear within 0.102 degrees of each other from our position in the universe.

The best way to see this phenomenon is to find an unobstructed view of the southwest and look towards the low horizon about 45 minutes after sunset.  With the naked eye, the two planets will be close enough to appear to be a double planet.  If you're using a telescope in a clear sky, you'll be able to see both Saturn and Jupiter distinctly, as well as several of their moons, in the same field of view.  Either way, you will be seeing something that hasn't been seen by a human being since March 4th, 1226.