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saturn and jupiter

The Christmas Star: A Once In Lifetime Opportunity to Witness a Great Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter

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Once In A Lifetime Event

Saturn and Jupiter, which are two biggest gas giants of solar system, will be so close to each other, on 20th to 22nd December 2020. According to NASA, the positions of these two planets align once every 20 years. But such conjunction occurs once in a lifetime, these two planets came this closer to each other 400 years ago, on March 4 1226. But this conjunction couldn’t be seen that time, because it happened during day time.

According to Henry Throops, an astronomer at NASA, They are not close in space – they are still hundreds of millions of kilometres apart from each other. “But … they appear as two points very close in the sky … in fact they’re so close that if you extend your pinky at arm’s length you’ll be able to cover both planets with just your pinky finger.” He also adds that “Anybody can go out and see these planets.”

Conjunction of Start in Next 60 Years

The event is happening just four days before Christmas, some are referring  as Christmas star, but this is not a conjunction of stars but two planets which are simply reflecting the Sun. Jupiter will glow brighter between those two and closer and Saturn will be slightly fainter and can be seen above left of Jupiter.

Many stories have gone viral online regarding the event. In response,  NASA made a video premier for the event. The Christmas star can be seen approximately one hour after the sunset. If you are planning to capture the event on the camera, NASA has created a guide for this great conjunction. NASA states after this month’s event, we have to wait for nearly 60 years to witness similar great conjunction…

Related – Gigantic Lunar Telescope Could Possibly Divulge the Very First Stars

Cosmic Wonder

In the word of late Stephen Hawking: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes a universe exist. Be curious.”

Also Read, Celebrating the 10 Famous Scientists of All Time

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