Saturn and Jupiter, the two largest planets in our solar system, are about to align in a way that we have not seen since the Middle Ages. On December 21
Between December 16 and December 25, the two gas giants appear to be less than a full moon apart. The closest visible approach takes place on December 21 and appears to be only one-fifth the diameter of the full moon. This is the best time for that stargazers to get out of their telescopes and see the spectacular view, although it will also be clearly visible to the naked eye.
“Alignments between these two planets are quite rare and occur once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to each other”, Patrick Hartigan said, Astronomer from Rice University. “You would have to go all the way back to just before sunrise on March 4, 1226 to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”
In 1614, astronomer Suggested Johannes Kepler that a similar conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter is what was called the “Star of Bethlehem” in the Christmas story. Others suggested that the “three wise men” could possibly have been a threefold conjunction with the two planets in addition to Venus. Regardless, we’ll probably not see two planets near each other until 2080, so watch your calendars.
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