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Jupiter and Saturn: rare double planet conjunction


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Exciting news for all astronomy buffs out there or those who want to witness a celestial event that last took place in 1623 and will happen again in sixty years! I'm thinking of grabbing my telelens and the tripod and catching some shots.


Saturn, upper right, and Jupiter, below Saturn, are seen shining behind Tokyo Skytree from
Katsushika Ward as the thin crescent moon forms a beautiful shape on the evening of Dec. 17, 2020.
(Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

Jupiter orbits the Sun about every 12 years, and Saturn around every 29.5 years, and when viewed from Earth, the planets appear to line up almost every 20 years. According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, both planets will approach each other by about a quarter of the moon's diameter at around 3 a.m. on Dec. 22. The last time the planets came so close was in July 1623, and the next time will be 60 years from now. In Japan on the evening of Dec. 21 and 22, it's projected it will be possible to see the two planets shining side by side with the naked eye or with binoculars.

Pretty amazing isn't. I have been watching them getting closer these past weeks and could finally use the telescope that my parents in law have today.


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Not as far as I know.. could see the brownish colors and the lines of jupiter well, was pretty amazing. Strangely I couldn't find Saturn.. but I'm not that well in using a telescope so might have search in the wrong way
I'm out walking the dog as I'm typing this message. The conjunction is clearly visible with the naked eye, very impressive—south-westerly direction—closest lineup expected around 3:00 a.m. JST. Get out your binoculars, telescopes, and telelenses! :)
I forgot to update this thread. This phenomenon was, in fact, only visible for about 15 minutes. After walking the dog, I returned with my tripod and tele only to find out that both Saturn and Jupiter had already disappeared behind the horizon. Have to wait another 60 years.
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