NASA authorities state this “great conjunction” won’t be seen again until 2080.
As Christmas nears, astronomers are encouraging residents to look to the sky in half a month to observe something not seen in very nearly 800 years.
From Earth’s perspective, Jupiter and Saturn are getting exceptionally near each other and will seem as though a twofold planet when they appear to almost collide on Dec. 21 — the date of the winter solstice — framing an uncommon phenomenon known as a “Christmas star.”
“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another,” Patrick Hartigan, a space expert at Rice University, told Forbes.
Forbes revealed that Jupiter and Saturn will resemble a “double planet” unexpectedly since the Middle Ages.
“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky,” Hartigan told Forbes.
You’ll have the option to observe the occasion in the sky through binoculars or a little telescope, as per NASA.
Both Jupiter and Saturn have been traveling across the sky together the entire year and during the initial three weeks of December, the planets will keep on drawing nearer after every sunset, NASA authorities said.
On Dec. 21, the planets will show up only a 10th of a degree separated, which is equal to the thickness of a dime held at a arm’s distance, as per NASA.
This happens at regular 20 years this century; in any case, NASA authorities said this occasion is “the greatest great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn” and won’t occur again until the year 2080.
In astronomical terms, combination is when two objects line up in the sky.
A few space experts accept that the “star of Bethlehem” was a combination between Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.