Science

Jupiter and Saturns great conjunction tonight: Everything you must know

Jupiter and Saturns great conjunction tonight: Everything you must know”

"The two planets actually don't get any brighter but it is the two coming together that will make them look marginally brighter in the sky". For one, it's been almost 400 years since the two planets will appear this close to each other in the sky.

It has been hundreds of years since Jupiter and Saturn appeared this close together - as viewed from Earth - and it will be a long time before it happens again.

Solar system planets on orbit around sun. You have to go back to March 4, 1226, that the conjunction was seen by people.

Stargazers will be treated to the spectacular sight of Saturn and Jupiter appearing to kiss in the night sky tonight in an event not seen for centuries.

Jupiter and Saturn should be bright enough to allow photographers to capture the planets without needing to zoom, NASA says.

While the planets can be viewed unaided, a small telescope or binoculars would help in the ability to also view four of the moons of Jupiter orbiting the giant planet.

It can also be called an optical illusion; the planets will be about 450 million miles away from each other at the time.

More news: China reports 23 new Covid-19 cases vs 17 a day earlier

Dr Brad Tucker, an astronomer from The Australian National University (ANU), said the coming Great Conjunction will be the closest to Earth in nearly 800 years.

Saturn and Jupiter have been drawing closer in the south-southwest sky for weeks. Jupiter, bigger and closer to Earth, is much brighter. On Monday night, Jupiter will be more than 880million kilometres from Earth, while Saturn's distance will be more than 1.6billion kilometres!

Griffin said the best seat in the house for viewing the conjunction is anywhere with clear skies tonight or tomorrow night - however, they may be hard to come by. It will be visible to watch with the naked eye.

A statue stands in the foreground as Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset on December 18, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo.

If weather permits at Dyer Observatory, there will be a live stream of the conjunction from one of the observatory's telescopes. "And here we're waiting for those planets to nearly merge in the sky", said astronomer and physicist Brian Martin, a professor emeritus at King's University, a Christian institution in Edmonton.

"What is most rare is a close conjunction that occurs in our nighttime sky", said Vanderbilt University's David Weintraub, an astronomy professor.



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