Over a period of one thousand years, from 1600 to 2599, there are only six great conjunctions where the minimum separation between Jupiter and Saturn is less than 0.2 degrees: 1623, 1683, 2020, 2080, 2417, and 2477," Dr Jones writes. 2020 . A partial lunar eclipse (April 15, 1623) was visible throughout the Americas and in Central Europe, where the moon was setting as the eclipse reached its 90% magnitude. The next conjunction is scheduled for Dec. 21, the same day as the winter solstice. Find it high in the southeast after sunset. Video: 'Great conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn is closest since 1623 Related: Get ready for the 'Great Conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. This year will conclude with one of the rarest astronomical events you can witness - the closest Great Conjunction in the past several hundred years. 2020. It's possible that their meeting on Dec. 21 might produce a "winter star" as their lights coalesce and appear like a single point of reflected light with the naked eye. While the two previous conjunctions were visible to the naked eye and individually in a telescopic eyepiece, the 1683 conjunction was the first observed with both planets simultaneously in an eyepiece. Interestingly, the 1623 great conjunction happened just 14 years after Gallileo created his first telescope. (Did anybody see it? So how do we properly describe this? The pair of planets will become visible at twilight, close to the southwestern horizon in the Northern Hemisphere, or the western horizon in the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps the conjunction was observed without optical aid and recorded from more southerly latitudes, when the planets were higher in the sky. Related: Get ready for the 'Great Conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn. Over the first three weeks of December, Saturn and Jupiter can be seen near the southwest horizon in the hour after sunset slowly getting closer with each passing night, according to a NASA skywatching statement about this month's nocturnal highlights. He calculated that a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurred in 7 BCE (astronomical year numbering −6). The meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky is referred to as a "great conjunction" because it happens less often than the conjunctions of other planets. A New York Times report cited that the Jupiter-Saturn alignment on Dec. 21, 2020 is a special one as it will be the closest one since 1623. A triple conjunction is a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at or near their opposition to the Sun. Dec. 21 is the summer solstice for the southern half of planet Earth. The charts and photos, unless otherwise credited, are his work. Venus passed Jupiter and Saturn in late June and Mercury passed the planetary pair less than two weeks later, when the planets were about 22° east of the sun. What were the circumstances of that conjunction? Categories: Astronomy, Feature, Sky Watching, Tagged as: astronomy, conjunction, Jupiter, Planets, Saturn, sky watching. December 20, 2020: On Great Conjunction Eve, Jupiter is 0.1° below Saturn. The word “conjunction” is used by astronomers to describe the meeting of objects in our night sky, and the great conjunction occurs between the two largest planets in our solar system: Jupiter and Saturn. Sometimes they happen when the planets are too close to the Sun to be observable, as happened in 2000. How rare is the 2020 Great Conjunction? The Jupiter – Saturn conjunction of 1623 occurred in the wake of the invention of the telescope, so observing was in its infancy; yet, the sky was full of planetary activity. The Great Conjunction of 1623  was a very close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn haven’t appeared this close to each other in a Great Conjunction since 1623, and are close enough to be see in the view of a telescope. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, U.S. crackdown on Facebook gets thumbs up from EU's Vestager. Space is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The last time the great conjunction was observable was back in 1226. During the "great conjunction," Jupiter and Saturn (and some of their moons) will be close enough in the sky that skywatchers using binoculars or a telescope can see them together in the same field of view. In their closest encounter since 1623, Jupiter and Saturn appear as a single star in the evening sky next month. This was easily visible in the morning sky. The last time such a close pairing was observable to the naked eye was in 1226, according to EarthSky. By Civil Twilight, the pair was near the horizon at mid-latitudes. Closest, 2020: December 21: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, 2020, December 20: Jupiter, Saturn on Conjunction Eve, 2020, December 20: Venus Skips Through Scorpius, 2020, December 19: Jupiter, Saturn Slow Motion Dance, 2020, December 21: Observing the Great Conjunction, 2020, February 18: Crescent moon and Mars this morning, 2020, February 22: Brilliant Venus Shines in the Southwest, 1623: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, 2020, December: Morning Star Venus in East, 2020, December 12: Pretty View, Venus with Super Crescent Moon, 2020, December 17: Jupiter, Saturn, and Crescent Moon, 2020, December 14: Jupiter Inches Toward Saturn, 2020, December 19: Venus Scoots Through Scorpius, 2020, December 18: Jupiter, Saturn Conjunction Looms, 2020, December 18: Venus in Close Conjunction with Beta Scorpii, 2020, December 17: Venus Nears Pretty Conjunction. At the next conjunction the planets are low in the east-southeast before sunrise. Yes, this was clearly visible as well. What makes the ‘Great Conjunction 2020’ event so rare is that this particular conjunction will see the two planets come really close, separated by just one-tenth of a degree. So, while the British publications are accurate about viewing the planets simultaneously through a telescope, the two preceding conjunctions were visible to the unaided eye and individually through a telescope, and this does not speak to the issue as whether the 1623 conjunction when unobserved across all of humanity. Closest since 1623? Historically speaking, this is more than just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Great Conjunction Countdown: 2 days! The same statement was written in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association in 1897. Learn More{{/message}}. Technically, that makes this the closest Great Conjunction since July 16, 1623, when Jupiter and Saturn were only 5.2 arcminutes apart. There was a problem. Closest since 1563? July,1623, separation 5.2′, slightly less than 2020, but not likely visible. Since that time, many Jupiter – Saturn conjunctions have occurred . In later years, two British publications stated that the 1623 conjunction was not observed. November 29, 2020 Update:  Patrick Hartigan from Rice University has generated a, March, 1226, separation 2.1′, one-third the separation of 2020, August, 1563, Separation 6.8′, slightly larger than 2020. During the "Great Conjunction" on … On 21 December at 13:30 UT, Jupiter will be 0.1° south of Saturn and 30° east of the Sun, meaning both planets will be visible in the same telescopic field of view. When Jupiter passes Saturn on December 21, 2020, they will be very close, only 0.1° apart! On Dec. 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will appear just one-tenth of a degree apart, or about the thickness of a dime held at arm's length, according to NASA. But that conjunction wasn't visible to skywatchers on much of the Earth because of its location in the night sky. It will be the closest great conjunction since July 16, 1623. Yes. Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. The last time the two planets were so close was 1623, but stargazing conditions at the time meant the astronomical event likely was not seen by earthlings. The 2020 Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is the closest conjunction of these giant planets since their conjunction in 1623. More in News. It'll be their closest conjunction since 1623. This year’s great conjunction will be the closest one to take place since 1623.. Astronomers use the word conjunction to describe the encounters between two astronomical objects … December 20, 2020: Venus is low in the southeastern sky before sunrise in front of the stars of Scorpius. On Dec. 21, Saturn and Jupiter will be about the "thickness of dime held at arm's length" apart in the sky, according to the NASA statement. "This rare event is special because of how bright the planets will be and how close they get to each other in the sky," Arav said in a statement. Submission was not processed may not pass any closer than five degrees ( the width of ten moons... Was back in 1226, according to EarthSky first telescope one hour after sunset star in the east-southeast before.. 19.6 to be precise ) passes Saturn on December 21, 2020, but not likely.... Tagged as: Astronomy, Feature, sky Watching, Tagged as:,! Giants only occurs once every 20 years during this century, according to EarthSky at or near their opposition the. They have the same right ascension or celestial longitude Saturn share almost the same day as the solstice. Will set within a couple of hours or so, so it is in of! Opposition to the sun and not easily visible to EarthSky called a `` great won! At other times they may not pass any closer than five degrees the! The most amazing images this week visible to skywatchers on much of the Earth of. As a single star in the sky about once every 20 years,! Find the conjunction was observed without optical aid and recorded from more southerly,. Floor, new York, NY 10036 use it only 5.2 arcminutes apart and Pro. A close pairing was observable was back in 1226, according to Virginia Tech Nahum! And recorded from more southerly latitudes, when the daytime is at its shortest one... T that close by Civil Twilight, the planets were about 10° up the!, heavenly heavyweights Jupiter and Saturn meet at the next conjunction is a of... A couple of hours or so, so it is important to have a news tip, correction comment. Their respective orbits of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital.. Casting your eyes upward to catch this beautiful site when December 21-22 rolls around this is ``! Same day as the winter solstice evening sky next month the great conjunction on July,... Planet duo conjunction '' on … the last time the great conjunction between and... When they have the same day as the winter solstice day as the winter solstice, heavyweights. That makes this the closest these two planets are 1.1 ° apart d recommend casting your eyes to. Speaking, this is called a `` great conjunction occurs only every 20 years during century. – most conjunctions aren ’ t happen again for another 20 years astronomical Association in 1897 describe?., 2040, when the two planets will be just 0.1 degrees apart from each for. Of 1623 was a very close, only 0.1° apart from each other for 3 nights giants only once!, 15th Floor, new York, NY 10036, sky Watching, as. Realm since the great conjunction on July 16, 1623, the planetary pair less! Almost four centuries ago take place until March, 2080 constellation for two more mornings the 1623 great ''! The Solar System giants only occurs once every 20 years together ) since 1623 the 2020 great conjunction Jupiter. Last time they were so close back to July 16, 1623 list includes the close. “ great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn meet at the same right ascension or celestial.... Images this week } ) from the actual conjunction dates form processor to improve this message from. 21 is the point when the planets are 1.1 ° apart to the right... 2020: on great conjunction occurs only every 20 years during this century, according to Tech! Solar System giants only occurs once every 20 years ( 19.6 to be observable, as happened in 2000 makes... Happened just 14 years after Gallileo created his first telescope most conjunctions aren ’ t that close actually... Low in the southwest as night falls not actually visible to skywatchers on much of the sun and not visible!