Jupiter and Saturn are coming together to make a Christmas star.
On Dec. 21, the winter's solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will align to their closest appearance in the night sky since 1226, according to an article by Daniella Medina in the Nashville Tennessean.
The planets' yuletide fusion will emit a brilliant beam of light resembling the star that led the Wise Men to Bethlehem.
Known as "the great conjunction," the event occurs every 20 years. But this year, Jupiter and Saturn will appear just 0.1 of a degree apart. The planets also drew that near to each other in 1623, but sunset likely blocked their visibility, the report said.
Youngsters who miss the planets' near embrace this year will have another chance in 2080.
Like shy lovers, the big, slow-moving gas planets are already coming together in the southwestern sky just after sunset. Last night, I walked outside to see them peeking through a tree's branches.
A telescope might reveal Saturn's rings and Jupiter's moons, but binoculars are fine, University of Texas astronomer Stephen Hummel told the Texas Monthly.The conjunction is visible for about 45 minutes after sunset.
The planets' alignment through the years has been considered an omen of momentous events. We have many to choose from: a new presidency, the pandemic vaccine, the Super Bowl.
In 1226, the world was a lot quieter than now. But the two planets' celestial show still brings wonder.