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A rare sky show, Jupiter and Saturn will be as close as pinkie finger on 21st December

ShiviDecember 17, 20207min9260
A rare sky show, Jupiter and Saturn will be as close as pinkie finger on 21st December

Team NASA has a surprise for you all. You all are excited for this Christmas, though it will not be the same for many due to Corona Pandemic. But the lore of the celebration will be cherished round the world. So what exactly is happening on the 21st of December 2020. 

Alright, the guesses aren’t working and you must be thinking that Christmas is on 25th. Yeah, this year we would get a chance to enjoy a Christmas kiss under the moonlit on the 21st December – which is also named as “The Great Conjunction”. 

 

Credits NASA Bill Ingalls

 

So what will happen on this day?

As the NASA Saturn and Jupiter will be the closet. last they were seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Luray, Virginia. And now they both are heading towards the great conjunction The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on December 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart.

In rare sky show, Jupiter and Saturn will nearly ‘touch’ on the winter solstice. On the night of December 21, stargazers will be in for a holiday treat as the two bright planets appear closer together than at any time in the past 400 years.

 

Where did it come from?

In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, travelled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.” (Taken from Nasa.gov). 

 

Credits Chakarin Wattanamongkol Getty Images

A delight for stargazers:

Every 20 years these two planets appear to pass each other in the solar system. But with this position, aligned in the sky comes about once in 20 years. What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset. How? 

 

Credits NASA JPL-Caltech

Follow the steps by NASA:
  • Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
  • An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
  • The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.

 

Source NASA

Merry Christmas to all lovelies! 

Keep Smiling! Be a responsible traveller!

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