Monday, December 21, 2020

'Christmas Star' in the Sky Tonight

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2020 at 8:08 AM

click to enlarge NASA
  • NASA
In a year that has seen so much devastation, loss and divisiveness, there is a bright light. Tonight. In the sky.

The planetary alignment known as the “Christmas Star” will come to full fruition Dec. 21 as Jupiter and Saturn come together, according to NASA, producing a “vibrant” positioning the likes of which have not been seen since the Middle Ages.

”It’s been nearly 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, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this ‘great conjunction,’” a NASA post states.

According to NASA, this astronomical event will be visible to the “unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.”

So, amid all 2020 has thrown at us, take a little time tonight to look up and take in a celestial event centuries in the making.

To see it for yourself, NASA suggests:
  • 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.
  • 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.
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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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