The planets Saturn and Jupiter are set to align later this month and will appear as a beautifully bright star for the first time in 800 years.
As per reports, December 21 will see the two huge planets aligning to look like a “double planet” that will yield an incredible amount of light. The last time they did so was during the Middle Ages. More specifically March 4, 1226.
“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 be to one another,” said Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University.
“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.”
There’s also good news for anyone who wants to see the phenomenon, as the sight will apparently be visible from anywhere on Earth.
As per Forbes, the two aforementioned planets will appear low in the western sky for about an hour after sunset, as viewed from the northern hemisphere.
They’ll be closest – and therefore most visible – on December 21, but people will be able to see their alignment on every evening that week. The sight will be steadily sinking towards the horizon, but will be bright enough to be viewed in at twilight.
It’s said that to be able to witness the light it in the night sky, you’ll at least need a regular telescope, though an astronomer’s telescope or a university telescope feed will yield better results.
I don’t know about you, but I for one will be casting my eyes to the night sky with keen interest.
Our world and the universe around us continues to fascinate me! Just think how extra special this Christmas will be with a phenomenon that hasn’t occurred in 800 years!
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