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Tue Dec 22, 2020, 01:38 PM

Rare Jupiter and Saturn conjunction dazzles skywatchers worldwide.

If you missed the show, don’t fret. You’ll have another chance Tuesday night.

Stargazers worldwide looked skyward Monday evening, searching for what many are referring to “the Christmas star” or a “double planet.” The attention-grabbing spectacle, the rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, marked the closest night sky pass of the two planets in nearly 800 years in many areas.

The last time that Jupiter and Saturn appeared so close together in the mid-latitudes was on March 5, 1226, according to Space.com. Monday night’s show featured the two planets virtually overlapping, appearing barely a quarter the diameter of the full moon from one another.

In reality, the two are hundreds of millions of miles away from one another; Saturn, whose orbit is outside that of Jupiter, is considerably more distant.

Though the planets rendezvous in our night sky every two decades or so, the next “great conjunction” that brings the planets into proximity as impressive as Monday night’s show won’t come until the year 2080.

Fortunately, if you missed Monday night’s conjunction because of cloud cover, you can try your luck again Tuesday night. While the planets won’t be quite as intimate, they’ll still be nestled comfortably close.

The remarkable pairing of the planets brought them just 0.1 degrees apart. That’s about the apparent thickness of a coin if you held it in an outstretched hand. On Tuesday night, they’ll be about 60 percent farther apart, but that’s still close enough to yield a remarkable show.

The half-illuminated moon will also be visible above and to the left of the planetary pairing, with Mars, marked by a speck of rusty brown, higher up along that line.'

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/12/22/jupiter-saturn-conjunction-photos/?

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Reply Rare Jupiter and Saturn conjunction dazzles skywatchers worldwide. (Original post)
elleng Dec 2020 OP
lapfog_1 Dec 2020 #1
SheltieLover Dec 2020 #2
elleng Dec 2020 #3
SheltieLover Dec 2020 #4
SheltieLover Dec 2020 #5
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2020 #6
elleng Dec 2020 #7

Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 01:44 PM

1. someplace in the frozen north

Lara Croft is racing her dog sled team to the secret lair of the Illuminati.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 02:00 PM

2. Ty, Ellen!

I was too tired last night to go out looking for somewhere to see this amazing event. Maybe tonight.

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Response to SheltieLover (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 02:06 PM

3. Good luck!

1-2 hours past sunset are best, I've heard.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 02:07 PM

4. TY so much!

Hoping it will be clear again tonight.

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Response to elleng (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 02:08 PM

5. It is so flat here

Wish I were in mountains.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 07:24 PM

6. I've just come inside from watching the dynamic duo. Or, if you count the Galilean objects, the

sensational sextet.

I had as clear a view as I'll ever have. There are a few nearby places where there are no barren tree branches blocking the way. I was in one of them. My setup consisted of my rummage sale (literally) Edmunds Scientific telescope, suitable for Cub Scouts or Brownies, but really, no one beyond that.

I used to be able to see the four big moons of Jupiter with binoculars, but my eyesight is deteriorating. I need a telescope now. There they were, all lined up. Two were pretty close to each other, on one side of Jupiter, and the other two were spread farther apart and thus more easily discerned, on the other.

The telescope is an ancient 4" DynaScope. It has to be from the fifties. It's pretty close to these two, but not exactly:





I think that seeing the conjuction is going to be my Christmas present this year.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 22, 2020, 07:31 PM

7. Good you did.

Too windy and cold here. (Yes, I'm a chicken!)

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