The Conjunction Of Saturn And Jupiter

This full-disc image of Jupiter was taken on 21 April 2014 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center) -

On the Winter Solstice, December 21st, 2020, Saturn and Jupiter will conjoin in the southwest sky 45 minutes after sunset. The 2 largest planets in the solar system will look like one large star.

The last time that Saturn and Jupiter were so close was in the year 1623, but it was not seen by earthlings. The last time such a close pairing was observable to the naked eye was in 1226, according to EarthSky.

How close will the planets be in the sky? The gas giants will be separated by roughly a fifth of the diameter of the typical full moon, which means that from Earth, the planets will appear to touch or even form one large, brilliant star in the sky. In reality, the planets will be some 400 million miles apart.

The best place to go view the conjunction is going to be somewhere that has a clear view of the Southwest horizon. It might be somewhere that is high up, but the conjunction will occur right above the horizon, so a view of the entire southwestern horizon is crucial.

There is some connection to the holidays with planetary conjunctions! Some in the astronomy world have thought that the star that the 3 wise men used as a guide to Jesus Christ’s birthplace was actually a conjunction of 2 planets, but not Jupiter and Saturn.

The next time that such a conjunction will happen is in 2080, which is 60 years from now. Go look at this conjunction, as who knows what will happen between now and then!

If you’re curious about what a conjunction is, check out this article.

2 Comments on "The Conjunction Of Saturn And Jupiter"

  1. Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting info .

  2. Very efficiently written post. It is extremely useful for everyone! Keep up the good work!

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