Posted on

The Orbits of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn align, in the “great conjunction” Visible in the Night Sky

Photo Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to NASA , Jupiter and Saturn have been traveling across the sky together all year, but this month, get ready for them to really put on a show. Over the first three weeks of December, watch each evening as the two planets get closer in the sky than they’ve appeared in two decades. Look for them low in the southwest in the hour after sunset. And on December 21st, the two giant planets will appear just a tenth of a degree apart – that’s about the thickness of a dime held at arm’s length! This means the two planets and their moons will be visible in the same field of view through binoculars or a small telescope. In fact, Saturn will appear as close to Jupiter as some of Jupiter’s moons.

This event is called a “great conjunction.” These occur every 20 years this century as the orbits of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn periodically align making these two outer planets appear close together in our nighttime sky. Even so, this is the “greatest” great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn for the next 60 years, with the two planets not appearing this close in the sky until 2080.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.