Jupiter and Saturn to appear closest in the night sky, watch the rare event today
Jupiter and Saturn to appear closest in the night sky, watch the rare event today

A rare event is going to happen as 2020 is coming to an end. The skywatchers can witness the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. The planets regularly appear to pass each other in the solar system, but Jupiter and Saturn fall in alignment in the sky about once every 20 years. Jupiter and Saturn will appear closest to each other in the sky on December 21. This year’s spectacle is rare because it's been almost 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. 

This event can be witnessed across the globe in the evening.  These planetary conjunctions could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits. The date of the conjunction is said to be determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun. 

In order to watch the great conjuction, you have to find a spot in an open area like a field or park. Go outside an hour before the sunset and look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star, while Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21. This even can be seen with naked eyes but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.

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