News18» News»Buzz»Jupiter and Saturn to Appear Too Close Like 'Companions' in the Rarest of Phenomenon
1-MIN READ

Jupiter and Saturn to Appear Too Close Like 'Companions' in the Rarest of Phenomenon

Representative Image.

Representative Image.

Jupiter and Saturn will appear just after sunset, so close together that they might look like companions.

A celestial phenomenon which has been seen since the middle ages will brighten up the skies on the evening of December 21, 2020. Jupiter and Saturn will appear just after sunset, so close together that they might look like companions. The day also happens to be Winter Solstice, the shortest daylight time of the year.

"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 one another," said astronomer Patrick Hartigan. According to Hartigan, the last time this alignment occurred was in 1226, just after dawn on March 4.

The two giant planets have appeared to approach one another in Earth’s sky since mid-2020. However, around the third week of December (between December 16 and 25) the two will appear at a distance slightly less than the diameter of a full moon. "On the evening of closest approach on December 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon," Hartigan said.

Those with proper telescopes can view not only both of the planets but many of their larger moons. The best spots to observe this phenomenon would be in the equatorial regions. The double-planet effect will feature on the western sky every evening of the week for about one hour. As you go north, the period will decrease and it will appear in the sky for a shorter time.

If you are interested in watching celestial phenomenon, then you must hop on this opportunity. If missed this year, one would need to wait till March 15, 2080 when Jupiter and Saturn will be this close in the sky again. If someone misses both this year and 2080’s viewing, they might need to time-travel to the 25th century as the next such sighting is slated to be in the year 2400, according to Scitech Daily.