Monday, January 4, 2021

North Coast Night Lights: Conjunction - Saturn Overtakes Jupiter

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 11:59 AM

Racing around the sun like slot cars on an elliptical track, Earth was on an inside line and coming around fast. Jupiter and Saturn were in view ahead. Jupiter was taking a much wider line and Saturn was lazily rounding the bend still farther out. Earth would overtake them. Again. The race has been on for billions of years, and Earth never tires of lapping her bigger sisters. This time it appeared she would lap them both at the same time and, for a moment Earth, Jupiter and Saturn would line up in cosmic formation.

The Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was … the day before and obscured by clouds. But the next evening was beautiful, and @morriganlynn and I celebrated the event in the moonlight with this image up on Bear River Ridge Road. Jupiter and Saturn are small on the horizon in front of her, almost touching each other. I could see that Saturn had finally overtaken and passed Jupiter and was now to Jupiter’s right. Humboldt County, California. Dec. 22, 2020. - PHOTO BY DAVID WILSON
  • Photo by David Wilson
  • The Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was … the day before and obscured by clouds. But the next evening was beautiful, and @morriganlynn and I celebrated the event in the moonlight with this image up on Bear River Ridge Road. Jupiter and Saturn are small on the horizon in front of her, almost touching each other. I could see that Saturn had finally overtaken and passed Jupiter and was now to Jupiter’s right. Humboldt County, California. Dec. 22, 2020.

Or close enough. It is called a great conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn align closely as seen from Earth. This happens fairly frequently, about every 20 years. But rarely do the two great gas giants appear in such close proximity to each other as they did for us on Dec. 21, 2020: it had been almost 800 years since they last appeared this close together in the night sky. About 400 years ago, the two planets aligned this closely, but they were too near the sun to see. Chalk up something good for the year 2020.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Care2 Take Action?

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2022 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation