“Christmas Star” Great Conjunction Of Saturn and Jupiter

December 22, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)– For the first time in 800 years, planets Saturn and Jupiter aligned. It may appear as one star observed from Earth with the naked eye, hence the conjunction nicknamed the “Christmas Star.” During the month of December, the two planets appeared to move closer together, and on Monday night, they were closest. Unfortunately, clouds over most of New Jersey kept most from seeking the spectacle. Tonight, there was a short break in the clouds long enough to get a photograph of the conjunction.

If you did not see the two planets, you will still have an opportunity over the next few days to see the rare conjunction, but it will appear that the planets are moving further apart each night.

To see the planets, look in the Southwest sky just after dusk and you will see two bright objects that may appear as one with the naked eye. If you use binoculars or a telescope, you can see the two planets apart. As the week progresses, however, Jupiter and Saturn will move further apart once again. To make things easier, use an application like Star Walk 2 or Google Sky Map to find and identify the planets.