Christmas star is coming: Jupiter and Saturn are going to do something that has not been seen for almost 800 years

Christmas star is coming: Jupiter and Saturn are going to do something that has not been seen for almost 800 years

This year has been a year unlike any other in recent memory and will end with the return of a celestial event that has not been seen for almost 800 years.

The two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter And Saturn, Unseen since the Middle Ages will do something later this month: creating something that looks double Planet. This celestial event is called the “Christmas Star”.

This rare event will occur after sunset on December 21, 2020, following the onset of winter uniformity.

Jupiter, Saturn Brand Age Structure

Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, said: “There is very little similarity between these two planets, once every 20 years, but this combination is rare because of how close the planets are to each other.” Said Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer. Statement. “Before the morning of March 4, 1226, you have to go back to see a close correlation between these things visible in the night sky.”

This scenario shows how the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will appear in a telescope, which will be visible to the west in the evening of December 21, 2020. The image is adapted from the graphics by the open-source Gterium software Stellarium. (This work, “jupsat1,” developed by Patrick Hartigan from Stellarium, used under GPL-2.0, and obtained by Patrick Hartigan’s CC by 4.0)

Hertigan added that between December 16 and December 25, the two planets will be separated from the full moon.

“On the evening of approaching December 21, they will look like a double planet, separated by the fifth diameter of the full moon,” Hertigan said. “For most telescope viewers, every evening and many of its larger moons will appear in the same evening view area.”

(Credit: NASA)

The Christmas star, or Bethlehem star, can be seen anywhere on Earth, but Hartigan notes that the answer is no, “there’s less time to look at them.”

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Justin Mason, director of the Pritlo Planetarium at Old Dominion University, said the birth star was probably a rare rabbit coincidence, with Jupiter, Venus and a star called Regulus dating to about 2 BC. Virginian-pilot.

Researchers say ‘get in the habit’

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this image on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured this image on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

Stargazers should try to watch this month’s event or risk waiting too long for the next event. Hertigan said that by March 15, 2080, and after 2,400, the planets will not be close again.

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A version of this story was originally published on November 23. It has been updated to include additional information.

Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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