Astronomy Anomaly: The Great Conjunction


This picture shows Jupiter and Saturn from our sky over the course of many months.

Ian Meyers

This evening, take a look to the night sky just after sunset. Above the horizon line, you will see two blips; one fairly bright, the other one dim. If you didn’t know, those two blips are not stars, but planets in our solar system. The gas giants Jupiter and Saturn are the furthest planets visible to the naked eye. But, why are they so close?

About once every twenty years, Jupiter and Saturn have this strange sort of alignment with one another. On December 21st, look to the night sky. That evening, Jupiter and Saturn will only be 0.1 degrees apart…that’s the closest they’ve been in 800 years! Jupiter and Saturn will appear as a bright dot in the sky. Now, what does this mean?

Well, luckily for us, the end times are not near. This year has witnessed many astronomical anomalies: the super pink moon, Mars passing by the Moon, and an upcoming solar eclipse on the 14th of this month. This is one of those strange, rare occurrences. The next time Jupiter and Saturn will align will be in about twenty years, 2040. The next time they will be 0.1 degrees away from each other…you’ll have to be patient, because that won’t be happening until the year 7541.

So, in other words, take the month of December as a time to look up at the night sky just after sunset. As of now, they do seem to be close to one another. If you continue to keep your eye on them, they will get closer and closer, until the 21st, where they will essentially be right on top of each other. Don’t miss out on witnessing this once in a lifetime opportunity! More information can be found in this article. Happy stargazing!