The Great Conjunction or Christmas Star

Tonight is your chance to see the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. The orbits of the two planets align approximately every twenty years, but this year we can see it during the early evening.

The last time this astronomical event was visible was in 1226, nearly 800 years ago.

Since this year’s event coincides with the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, we will all be able to see it with the naked eye. It also falls on the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This has led some to call it the Christmas Star in reference to the Star of Bethlehem, which announced the birth of the Christ child.

To see for yourself:

Before sunset, find an unobstructed view of the southwestern sky. The two planets will be visible about an hour after sunset. Keep an eye on the sky because the planets will set below the horizon quickly.

Each night we have watched, it has only been a short while before the moonlight obscures our view. So, do not dilly dally if you want to see it.

Although it is completely visible in a clear evening sky, binoculars or a small telescope may allow viewers to see Jupiter’s four large moons, NASA said in a statement. Check NASA’s website for more information:

Until next time . . . Watch the Night Sky,

© 2020 SuZan Klassen, All Rights Reserved

4 thoughts on “The Great Conjunction or Christmas Star

  1. Thanks for the heads-up on the star!  We watched from a restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico coast last night in Port Aransas, Texas.   Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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