November 21, 2020
The upcoming conjunction of these two gas giants is “exceptionally rare” and will allow the inhabitants of Earth to observe a super-bright ‘double planet’ in the sky on the night of December 21st.
Jupiter and Saturn are in a very close position to each other as seen from Earth, and just on the date of the winter solstice, after sunset on the night of December 21, the stars will practically “unite” to become a single super-bright point of light to be observed from our planet.
The two largest planets in the Solar System will now be closer to each other than they have been since the Middle Ages.
The unique event can be observed from anywhere on the planet, at night, although visibility will be greater near the equator.
“The alignments between these two planets are quite rare, they occur once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare due to how closely the planets will be seen. You would have to go back to just before sunrise on March 4, 1226 to see a closer alignment between these visible objects in the night sky, “said Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University.
“On the night of closest approximation, on December 21, they will look like a double planet, separated only by a fifth of the diameter of the full moon,” clarified Hartigan, adding that the next time the two planets will be so close. it will be on March 15, 2080, and then sometime beyond the year 2400.
From the United States, the best time to observe will be the twilight with the best visibility from the south of the country.