HISTORIC JUPITER / SATURN CONJUNCTION - Dec. 21st!! Not since the dark ages, March 4, 1226, have Jupiter and Saturn passed as close as they will on the evening on Dec. 21st!
Since Jupiter is closer to the sun it takes 12 years for it to complete an orbit, whereas Saturn takes 30. This means Jupiter laps the ringed planet about every 20 years . When they passed last time, in June 2000, they were a little over a degree or 2.5 moon diameters apart. This time they will fit within a single moon diameter!
They will be so close, that if you have a small telescope, this will be the only time in our lives the two planets will be visible in the eyepiece at the same time!
You can start watching them now. Go outside and notice night by night as they slowly glide closer to each other.
Make sure to enjoy this winter solstice conjunction. The next time they'll be this close is March of 2080!
Animation: The animation shows the position of the planets low in the southwestern sky at 5 night intervals running Dec. 1 - Dec. 30th.