Jupiter and Saturn's 'great conjunction' will illuminate December sky

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  61 comments

By:   Alex Meier This

Jupiter and Saturn's 'great conjunction' will illuminate December sky
During the "great conjunction" on Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will form a "double planet," appearing just a tenth of a degree apart -- or about the thickness of a dime at arm's length.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



On the winter solstice, the gas giants will shine brightly as a "double planet." Jupiter and Saturn haven't been this close in the night sky since 1623! WABC By Alex Meier This month, Jupiter and Saturn are putting on an extraordinary show just in time for the holidays!

Over the next three weeks, the gas giants' paths will appear closer and closer together before an event that astronomers call "the great conjunction," according to NASA.

During the "great conjunction" on Dec. 21, the two will form a "double planet," appearing just a tenth of a degree apart -- or about the thickness of a dime at arm's length.

Skywatchers can differentiate Saturn and Jupiter from the stars because the planets will appear "brighter and more solid in the sky," NASA program officer and astronomer Henry Throop told "Good Morning America." He said the conjunction will be visible throughout the world, even in cities, on clear nights.

2020 is the start of a new decade, and with it comes several fascinating astronomy events!

In reality, the planets are still millions of miles apart, but every 20 years, the orbits of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn periodically align, making these two outer planets appear close together. In 2020, however, astronomers are calling this phenomenon the "greatest" great conjunction, as the planets haven't been this close together and visible from earth since 1623.

Dec. 21 is also the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning it will be the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight.

To spot Jupiter and Saturn's approach and ultimate conjunction, look for them low in the southwest in the hour after sunset, according to NASA. 


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Buzz of the Orient
1  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago

I had a pretty good telescope back in Toronto, mounted on a tripod, and I could see the rings of Saturn and four moons circling Jupiter. It really is quite a thrill to see the actual planets for the first time, not in pictures or videos but the real things. 

 
 
 
bccrane
1.1  bccrane  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    one month ago

I setup a telescope and showed friends and family the planets years ago and actually could see the dark spots on Jupiter after it was struck by the fragments of the comet.  Lately, though, no one seems to have any interest in watching the sky even though I still do.

I've been watching this conjunction since Jupiter, and admittedly I thought Saturn was actually Mars at first, started showing up as the morning star with another planet nearby, it wasn't until later that Mars started showing up to the east that I realized it was Saturn that was near Jupiter.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2  Trout Giggles    one month ago

Southwest sky??? I have a zillion trees in the way.

I have a telescope but I haven't figured out how to put it together

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    one month ago

I have both of your issues. I have to first find my telescope since I haven't taken it out since we moved. At least I know where all the optics are. I don't want to miss this, but remember, you can also see it with the naked eye.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1    one month ago

I'm going to have to rely on my nekkid eyes. I am going to figure out that damn telescope one of these days!

 
 
 
bccrane
2.1.2  bccrane  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1    one month ago

BTW, this is a slow motion event, you'll have several nights to see the conjunction, as of right now they're close together, just on the 21st they will appear to be even closer then they will slowly separate for weeks and in a month the sun will be in the way. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.3  MrFrost  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

I may send the drone up for pictures, but...only if the clouds clear. 

 
 
 
Ender
2.1.4  Ender  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

If you get a good shot or vid you should post it.

(My not so subtle hint, haha)

 
 
 
MrFrost
2.1.5  MrFrost  replied to  Ender @2.1.4    4 weeks ago

Unfortunately the clouds never did clear off. Not sure the drone would have been a great choice anyway, the camera isn't that good. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
2.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    one month ago
I have a zillion trees in the way.

Yeah me too. May take a little drive to a friend's to see it. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.3  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    one month ago
I have a zillion trees in the way.

I have the same problem. I'm hoping to see the Geminid meteor shower too.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @2.3    one month ago

That's Sunday night, isn't it? I will probably get up early to watch it

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.3.2  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.3.1    one month ago

The meteor shower is going g on now. But I think it peaks Sunday. Look to the Gemini Constellation, particularly around the star Castor.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.3.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @2.3.2    one month ago
Look to the Gemini Constellation, particularly around the star Castor.

I can barely find the big dipper. Now if you tell me look in the North Eastern sky...I got that one.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.3.4  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.3.3    one month ago

You can go online and Google the Gemini meteor shower. There's a site which will bring up a sky chart showing where to look and at what times.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.3.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @2.3.4    one month ago

Thank-you. I'm capable of doing that

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.3.6  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.3.5    one month ago

You're welcome. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3  Greg Jones    one month ago

A decent pair of binoculars will give good viewing also.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4  Dismayed Patriot    one month ago
During the "great conjunction" on Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will form a "double planet,"

Now we just need to find the crystal shard and heal the Dark Crystal so that the liberal mystics will once again merge with their Skeksis conservative counterparts...

 
 
 
MrFrost
4.1  MrFrost  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    4 weeks ago

512

 
 
 
bccrane
5  bccrane    4 weeks ago

Tonight's the night, unfortunately for here, it looks to be an overcast day, there may be a chance of clearing by that short period of time to see this just after sunset for about an hour before they fall below the horizon. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  bccrane @5    4 weeks ago

Aww...I'm sorry. We will have clear skies and as I was brushing my teeth and listening to the news this morning, I realized I might have a decent view of it. Depends on how low on the horizon the conjunction will be

 
 
 
bccrane
5.1.1  bccrane  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1    4 weeks ago

Dark now, actually the sun set here about 4:45, and it is a heavy wet snow falling right now, so will see them a little farther apart maybe in the next few days if it clears up.

 
 
 
Split Personality
6  Split Personality    4 weeks ago

Overheard shouting from the Oval office...

It will be the best conjunction ever, the best and I delivered it, during my term, it's my conjunction.  No one's ever going to see a conjunction like this ever again" "They will have to call it the Trump conjunction forever more.

/s

 
 
 
Krishna
6.1  Krishna  replied to  Split Personality @6    4 weeks ago
It will be the best conjunction ever, the best and I delivered it, during my term, it's my conjunction.  No one's ever going to see a conjunction like this ever again" "They will have to call it the Trump conjunction forever more.

Promises made..promises kept!

 
 
 
shona1
7  shona1    4 weeks ago

Morning. I was hoping to see it last night but unfortunately it bucketed rain here in Victoria for 5 hours solid..very disappointed.

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1  Split Personality  replied to  shona1 @7    4 weeks ago

perfectly clear skies in TX today except for clouds forming on the horizon at the appointed hour

jrSmiley_42_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
7.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Split Personality @7.1    4 weeks ago

It was clear here this morning, but started getting cloudy this afternoon.  Damn you, 2020!

 
 
 
Freewill
7.1.2  Freewill  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1.1    4 weeks ago
Damn you, 2020!

Damn you to helllllllllllll!  (In my best Charlie Heston voice )

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
8  sandy-2021492    4 weeks ago

It's cloudy here jrSmiley_5_smiley_image.png

 
 
 
Kavika
9  Kavika     4 weeks ago

At 30 minutes past sunset, I saw it clearly, quite impressive.

 
 
 
Split Personality
9.1  Split Personality  replied to  Kavika @9    4 weeks ago

Warrior eyes!

 
 
 
Kavika
9.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Split Personality @9.1    4 weeks ago

There ya go.

 
 
 
Ender
11  Ender    4 weeks ago

Someone told me they saw it and I went out and looked and couldn't see it.

 
 
 
bccrane
11.1  bccrane  replied to  Ender @11    4 weeks ago

Timing is everything, just after sunset, but don't wait too long, for they'll set shortly after.

 
 
 
Ender
11.1.1  Ender  replied to  bccrane @11.1    4 weeks ago

Yeah, I waited until close to 7. I am going to try again tomorrow night and hopefully still catch it.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.2  Kavika   replied to  Ender @11.1.1    4 weeks ago

I checked the time that sunset was to be and added 1/2 hour after went outside and there is was. Watched it for around 20 minutes and it was still clear when I went back inside.

 
 
 
Ender
11.1.3  Ender  replied to  Kavika @11.1.2    4 weeks ago

I talked to someone that said she saw it. Said it was big.

jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

I think I just waited too long and it was set.

You are Eastern standard aren't you? I never remember where the central zone ends.

 
 
 
Kavika
11.1.4  Kavika   replied to  Ender @11.1.3    4 weeks ago

Yes, EST. 

 
 
 
Gsquared
12  Gsquared    4 weeks ago

We saw it in L A. about 45 minutes ago.  Using binoculars we could see both planets.  Awesome!

 
 
 
Dig
13  Dig    4 weeks ago

I checked them out tonight. They looked like a single bright planet to the naked eye, but through binoculars they separated into two. I didn't have enough magnification to make out any moons or the rings of Saturn, though. 

If anyone's interested, here's where they were at approximately 6:15 PM Central, using the free astronomy software Stellarium.  Almost due southwest, near the horizon (the labels for Jupiter and Saturn are overlapping in the image):

original

____

And here's how close they appeared to each other when zoomed in on Stellarium (also showing moons):

original

Stellarium is pretty cool. It's basically what Starry Night used to be before they stopped selling their basic home version for $20 or so. Better still, it's free.

If you ever want to find out where something is, was, or will be in the sky (past, present, or future), then check it out.

Planets, stars, galaxies, nebulas, meteor showers, the constellations, etc. Even satellites and the ISS.

 
 
 
Krishna
13.1  Krishna  replied to  Dig @13    4 weeks ago
It's basically what Starry Night used to be

That one was OK-- but I liiked The Flying Toilets even better!

 
 
 
Dig
13.1.1  Dig  replied to  Krishna @13.1    4 weeks ago

LOL. No, no. The software company, not the Van Gogh.

Flying Toilets? Which one is that? :)

 
 
 
Raven Wing
13.1.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Dig @13.1.1    4 weeks ago
Flying Toilets? Which one is that?

I don't remember that one either. I do remember the flying toasters though. jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Raven Wing
13.1.3  Raven Wing  replied to  Raven Wing @13.1.2    4 weeks ago

Anyone else remember these?

 
 
 
MrFrost
14  MrFrost    4 weeks ago

One of my followers took this. Pretty damn cool picture using  a NikonD7500 camera with a Nikkor telescopic lens, 200-500mm 1/25 sec f/5 ISO 2500.

800

Credit: ༻ᗰᗩƳᖇᗩ༺

@LepapillonBlu
 
 
 
Dig
14.1  Dig  replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago

Oh, that's awesome. You can see the rings!

 
 
 
Kavika
14.2  Kavika   replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago

Wow that is great

 
 
 
Krishna
14.3  Krishna  replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago
One of my followers took this. Pretty damn cool picture using  a NikonD7500 camera with a Nikkor telescopic lens, 200-500mm 1/25 sec f/5 ISO 2500.

Wow-- that's amazing1 You can actually see Saturn's Rings! 

That's one Blue Butterfly who is an excellent Astro-Photographer!

(Although I've never actually been to Nebraska...)

 
 
 
Krishna
14.3.1  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @14.3    4 weeks ago
Wow-- that's amazing1 You can actually see Saturn's Rings! 

I didn't know you could do that with only a 500 mm lens!

 
 
 
pat wilson
14.4  pat wilson  replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago

Amazing pic !

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
14.5  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago

Amazing shot!

 
 
 
Raven Wing
14.6  Raven Wing  replied to  MrFrost @14    4 weeks ago

Awesome shot! Could not see it from here in So Cal where I am. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
15  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

I'm really upset! I was looking forward to seeing this and it's cloudy. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
15.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @15    4 weeks ago

Same.  Couldn't see a single star.

 
 
 
Gsquared
16  Gsquared    4 weeks ago

 From the Griffith Park Observatory

512

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
16.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Gsquared @16    4 weeks ago

Great shot G!

WHAAAAAAAA!!! I want to see it! 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
16.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Gsquared @16    4 weeks ago

That's a great shot from a different angle. Being able to see Saturn's rings is a great plus.

 
 
 
Gsquared
16.2.1  Gsquared  replied to  Raven Wing @16.2    4 weeks ago

My friend sent it from a live stream from the Griffith Park Observatory.  He tried to pretend that he took it from his camera at first.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
16.2.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Gsquared @16.2.1    4 weeks ago

It's great that he was able to share the view from the Observatory for all to see. It will be very interesting to see how the planets continue on their journey to meet up. I hope your Friend will be able to continue to share the view from the Observatory throughout the magical event.

 
 
 
Freewill
17  Freewill    4 weeks ago

Darn fog here is obstructing our view.  I guess we'll have to wait another 800 years.  No problem, my cryostasis chamber is nearly complete.  (-:

 
 
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