Jupiter and Saturn to appear closer together in the night sky than they have in centuries

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,999   +130
Staff member
Why it matters: The two largest planets in our solar system are preparing for a rare rendezvous, the likes of which haven’t been seen on Earth in centuries. The event, known as a great conjunction, will be visible worldwide, weather permitting, on December 21.

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will come together in the night sky in an event known as a great conjunction. In astronomy, a great conjunction happens when the two gas giants appear extremely close together in the sky as observed from Earth.

According to the Associated Press, Jupiter passes by Saturn in their respective trips around the Sun every 20 years but the upcoming event is special in that it will be the closest that the two have appeared in the sky since 1623. Due to the 1623 great conjunction being so close to the Sun, however, it was likely nearly impossible to see.

The last very close pairing that was visible from Earth occurred way back in 1226.

Per Jeffrey L. Hunt, you’ll want to head out just after sunset and look to the southern sky. Binoculars or a small telescope will give a better view but aren’t necessary, Hunt said.

If you miss this opportunity, you’ll have to wait until March 15, 2080, for your next chance.

Image credit: Bill Ingalls

Permalink to story.


Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,871   +2,929
Quick, time to check the web to see what ancient prophecies are about to be fulfilled... I bet someone blames Covid on this....


Posts: 241   +344
Planets aligning on Winter solstice. I've seen that movie! Just when we thought the disasters of 2020 was over... \o/


Posts: 111   +148
This is happening at almost exactly zero degrees Aquarius. The last time this particular configuration happened was in 1405, at the start of the Renaissance. It's also happening on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Many astrologers say that aspects happening at the beginning of a sign are the most significant. Jupiter is the ruler of Aquarius and is usually associated with electrical energy, intellect, open mindedness, humanism and communication. Saturn brings enormous responsibility and weight. Both are outer planets that move very slowly. Their aspects are generally regarded as influencing entire generations rather than individuals. So you have a planet just entering its home sign being intercepted by the planet of extreme responsibility and weight.

This portends a huge shift in world consciousness about communication. On the 21st, some world event will culminate in a dramatic increase in public awareness of communication responsibilities. Since Saturn is so heavily aspected, it probably will include some kind of communication freeze, possibly of the internet. Maby a gigantic hack that affects millions. Maybe Trump decides to declare martial law and mandate an investigation into the election. Maybe there will be a military event with China. Maybe something significant concerning the pandemic will happen. Maybe Intel will suddenly debut a new series of super low cost 5 nm processors that are 10 times faster than AMD - LOL. Or maybe nothing obvious will happen.

This aspect has been building up for the last few months as the planets approach each other. Most people would agree that we have been experiencing something akin to extreme frozen hyperexcitation. The pandemic, lockdown, uncertainty about the economy and US election are combined with a total inability to do anything about it. That's the exact sensation that a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction should provide.

Avro Arrow

Posts: 986   +1,130
TechSpot Elite
Is this like the "Conjoining of the Spheres" from The Witcher? Are we going to now see elves, vampires and all other sorts of supernatural monsters?

Jokes aside, It was a cool thing to see, two small lights in the sky but nothing more. It would've been more interesting if Titan and Ganymede got close enough to affect each other's orbits.