|if you’ve been watching the night sky this week, you’ve probably noticed something spectacular going on. If you haven’t, don’t worry, there’s still time-it’s about to look even more spectacular. On December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn will appear close together, despite being hundreds of millions of miles apart in space, and light up the sky like a star; hence the nickname ‘Christmas Star’. The alignment of the two largest planets in our solar system is called a great conjunction, and it only happens once every 20 years. This year is particularly special for a few other reasons-at just 0.1 degrees apart, this great conjunction is the closest since 1623 and the best observable since 1226! Also, this incredibly rare event just so happens to take place on Winter Solstice and at the peak of the Ursid meteor shower. Does it get more magical than that?|
In the U.S., the ‘Christmas Star’ can be seen from the naked eye just after sunset on the southwestern horizon. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you’ll also be able to observe Jupiter’s brightest moons and Saturn’s rings. We can’t think of a better way to close out 2020 than with a sight like this. Check out the links below to watch the livestream and learn more, or check out the night sky to experience the phenomenon in real life!