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Jupiter And Saturn Are About To Line Up Together For The First Time In 800 Years

Jupiter And Saturn Are About To Line Up Together For The First Time In 800 Years

Stargazers get ready, because Jupiter and Saturn are set to line up together for the first time in almost 800 years.

The once-in-a-lifetime alignment will be visible just after sunset on 21 December - the winter solstice.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from our star (Credit: NASA)
Jupiter is the fifth planet from our star (Credit: NASA)

People looking up at the sky on that date will see Jupiter and Saturn closer than anyone else currently alive has.

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"Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another," Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan said in a statement.

"You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky."

Jupiter and Saturn have been approaching each other in Earth's sky since the summer, and will be separated by less than the diameter of a full moon during the Christmas period from 16-25 December.

Saturn is also known as a
Saturn is also known as a

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Jupiter and Saturn should be visible to anyone on Earth as long as the weather is not too cloudy and allows an unrestricted view at the incredible event.

"On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon," said Professor Hartigan," explains Hartigan.

"For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening."

The next time you'll be able to see Saturn and Jupiter's meeting is 2080 (Credit: Pexels)
The next time you'll be able to see Saturn and Jupiter's meeting is 2080 (Credit: Pexels)
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The best views will come about an hour after the sun sets. This is when the planets will appear low in the western sky and will look better nearer the equator.

If you happen to miss Jupiter and Saturn's rare meeting, there will be another chance... in 2089. If you happen to have plans and miss that date you can always catch it again... in 2400.

Best tell your future grandkids to tell their future grandkids to be prepared!

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, Life, Nasa, space

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Gregory Robinson

Gregory is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, he has worked for both print and online publications and is particularly interested in TV, (pop) music and lifestyle. He loves Madonna, teen dramas from the 90s and prefers tea over coffee. Get in touch [email protected]