Get ready for a fantastic night time spectacle as two of the solar system’s planets join to create a once in a lifetime sight. Jupiter and Saturn will be right on top of each other on Monday night in what’s known as a conjunction. Astronomer Sebastian Zamfir says the show starts just after sundown.
“If we are patient, we’ll see that in about maybe 20 minutes, half an hour, it gets dark enough for the two planets to become visible. They will stand out because they are very bright,” he says.
Zamfir says astronomers have tracked these events all the way back to the time of Jesus.
“Some of the good candidates, as natural phenomena that would be related to The Star of Bethlehem were this kind of conjunctions, planetary conjunction. An even more spectacular one in terms of brightness happened in 2 BC and that one was between Jupiter and Venus,” he says.
The last time Jupiter and Saturn got this close together in the night sky was over 800 years ago, making this a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Missouri’s skies are expected to be clear tonight to view the show beginning just after sundown.
The event coincides with today’s winter solstice – the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter.
By Raymond Neupert of Wisconsin Radio Network
Copyright © 2020 · Missourinet