Saturn, Jupiter will align for ‘Christmas Star’ this month

It’s called a great conjunction
What's Up for December? A meteor shower, an extraordinary close meetup between Jupiter and Saturn, and the winter solstice.
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:55 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:33 PM EST
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(Gray News) – As we head into December, Jupiter and Saturn appear to be getting closer and closer in the night sky.

Astronomers call it a great conjunction, but it’s also been dubbed the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem” because of its brightness and proximity to Dec. 25.

“These conjunctions occur every 20 years, and this is an especially close one!” according to the NASA website. “Keep in mind that while the two gas giants may appear close, in reality, they are hundreds of millions of miles apart.”

The heavenly meeting of the two biggest worlds in our solar system is an extremely close one.

Saturn and Jupiter will only appear to be one-fifth the diameter of a full moon apart from each other.

This will be the closest conjunction since 1623 and will officially take place on Dec. 21, although the “Christmas Star” will be visible the entire fourth week of the month, according to EarthSky.

The planets will appear in the southwest sky about an hour after sunset.

Viewing conditions will depend on the weather and skies in your area.

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