As you may have heard, 2020 is finally about to get a whole lot brighter. Of course, we’re talking about one of the coolest celestial events in centuries, when two of the biggest planets in our solar system align tonight to create one great star show.
For the first time in about 800 years, we’ll be able to see Jupiter and Saturn align in the night sky tonight, which also happens to be Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere.
The double planet view is known by some astronomers as the “Christmas Star” because of a belief that the Star of Bethlehem could have been a planetary conjunction, although around two thousand years ago, Venus and Jupiter were closest, not Jupiter and Saturn as is the case for the “Christmas Star” of 2020.
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 humans. The last time such a close pairing was observable to the naked eye was in 1226, according to EarthSky.
“Keep in mind that while the two gas giants may appear close, in reality they are hundreds of millions of miles apart,” according to NASA’s Night Sky Network. “This will still be quite a striking sight, but you will need to look fast as both planets will set shortly after sunset.”
Where will you be viewing this amazing celestial event? Hopefully you’re among the lucky Ocean’s Reach guests who will be able to view it above the majestic Gulf of Mexico!