For updated global info & data on COVID-19, please click HERE.For updated global data & graphs on COVID-19, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases and death counts in USA by state, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida via Florida COVID Action, please click HERE.For COVID-19 cases in Florida, via Florida state government, please click HERE.Have you noticed two bright objects in the sky getting closer together with each passing night? It’s Jupiter and Saturn doing a planetary dance that will result in the Great Conjunction on Dec. 21, 2020. On that day, Jupiter and Saturn will be right next to each other in the sky — the closest they have appeared in nearly 400 years! Want to learn when and where to look up? Join our expert astronomer Dr. Henry Throop, in the video “NASA Science Live: How to See Saturn and Jupiter’s Great Conjunction“, below:
With this year’s winter solstice comes more than just confirmation of our already-cold weather and ever-fleeting daylight: The rare “Christmas Star” will be visible for the first time in 800 years, in the video “‘The Christmas Star’ set to light up the night on Dec. 21“, below:
In late December 2020, the two largest planets in our Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, will be so close in the sky that they’ll both be visible through a telescope eyepiece at the same time. Such close passes are known as Great Conjunctions, in the video “A Brief History of Great Conjunctions“, below:
This vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks is also known as the “Christmas Star”, end of the year treat, as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn move closer, culminating on the night of December 21, 2020. The positions of Jupiter and Saturn aligned in the sky about once every 20 years.
It’s been 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, allowing people around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”
In the video “Look for the Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn NOW“, below:
In the video “Jupiter and Saturn GREAT CONJUNCTION & collapse of the Arecibo telescope, Night Sky News Dec 2020“, below:
“Conjunctions like this could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits,” said Henry Throop, astronomer in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington,. “The date of the conjunction is determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun, while the date of the solstice is determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. The solstice is the longest night of the year, so this rare coincidence will give people a great chance to go outside and see the solar system.”
Want to learn when and where to look up? Join Throop as he talks about the “Great Conjunction” on #NASAScience Live Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Submit your questions by using #askNASA. The NASA Science Live episode will air live at 3 p.m. EST Thursday on NASA Television and the agency’s website, along with the NASA Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope channels.
For those who would like to see this phenomenon for themselves, here’s what to do:
Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, 2020, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via info.WindermereSun@gmail.com.
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