This time of the year is going to be great for those interested in the mysteries of the sky. A rare phenomenon of conjuncture between Jupiter and Saturn, commonly known as the Christmas Star will occur in the sky. This conjuncture is a special feature of these planets. This phenomenon would be visible in the sky for the next two weeks from the night of December 21. Also, during this time both planets would be very close to each other. Galileo discovered four satellites of Jupiter in the year 1610. These Galilean satellites were Low, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In the same year, Galileo discovered the bizarre spherical rings of Saturn. These discoveries changed how we perceive today’s solar system.
In 1623, 13 years after 1610, these two big planets of our solar system Jupiter and Saturn travelled together in the sky. Jupiter aligned with Saturn and then surpassed the planet. This phenomenon is called the Great Conjunction. Henry Throop of NASA’s Planetary Science Division in Washington says “You can think of the solar system as a racetrack, in which every planet is a runner”. Throop continued, ‘from a convenient location, we can see Jupiter on the inside lane, which after travelling for a whole month, will reach Saturn’s orbit and finally overtake it on 21 December.’ These two planets regularly appear to cross each other in the solar system in which the positions of Jupiter and Saturn align about once every 20 years.
In such a situation, the question arises then why is this year’s event so special and rare? Actually, this event is happening after 400 years that these two planets will be so close to each other. Also, it is 800 years later that the two planets are aligning at night. Another special thing about this astronomical event is that almost all the people of the world will be able to see this amazing event.
To watch this rare occurrence, you can do this –
1. To capture this astronomical event, find a place where there is no obstruction to the sky, such as an empty area or a park.
2. Jupiter and Saturn are both luminous, so they can be seen from most cities. Look southwest across the sky about an hour after sunset. Jupiter will easily appear like a shining star. Saturn will be slightly faster and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter by 21 December. Then Jupiter will overtake Saturn.
3. Both these planets can also be seen with naked eyes. But if you have a telescope or telescope, you may also be able to see the four big moons of Jupiter, orbiting the giant planet.
4. Apart from this, you can join by clicking on the link given from 5:30 pm to see this view and to solve your queries.