Jupiter and Saturn Give Earth a Show With Historically Rare ‘Great Conjunction’ Event
Image via YouTube
A celestial rarity made us all feel starbound on Monday night.
As NASA noted earlier this month in anticipation of the event, the "Poinsettia" and / or the "Great conjunction" is made possible by the underrated planets Jupiter and Saturn.
"You can imagine that the solar system is a racetrack where each of the planets runs as a runner on its own track and the earth runs towards the center of the stadium," said Henry Throop, an astronomer in the Planetary Science Department at NASA's Washington headquarters. explained last week. "From where we stand, we can see Jupiter on the inner track, approach Saturn for the whole month and finally overtake it on December 21st."
The timing of this visual gem, the first of its kind in hundreds of years, is a result of chance. Per throop, conjunctions of this type could actually occur on a particular day in a particular year, although the timing of this particular example is actually considered a "rare coincidence" for a variety of reasons. Most important of them, of course, is that its nocturnal status allowed so many people on this increasingly damaged planet to enjoy astronomical appreciation.
While the opportunity to see Jupiter and Saturn up close has already passed, the days ahead will still include the chance to observe the planets.
In the meantime, here's a grab bag of great conjunction porn:
Check it out more often. There is much to see.
On the subject of matching items
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