This computer representation shows the positions of Jupiter and Saturn
at the time of the dedication of the 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope in
Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science
on 1941 November 19. Earlier that year, Jupiter and Saturn had a Great
Conjunction on 1941 February 20. (Image Sources: Friends of the Zeiss, Francis G. Graham, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Kent State University)
This month, another Great Conjunction
of Jupiter and Saturn will occur on the day of the Winter Solstice, December 21, only
about 3 hours after the
Bright Jupiter will be only 0.1 degree (1/5 diameter of the Earth's
Moon) south of Saturn! That evening, the two planets will appear so
close (one of the rare occasions when both planets can be seen in the
field-of-view of a telescope), they may appear as one bright object,
The last conjunction of these two planets was in 2000; a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn usually happens about once every 19.6 years. The 2020 event will be the closest conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn since 1623 (only 14 years after Galileo used his first telescope to view the two planets). In fact, the greatest observable conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn came in 1226. Although 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler pointed-out that a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn occurred near the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, a possible explanation for the Star of Bethlehem, Johannes Kepler actually preferred a nova / supernova hypothesis for the star that allegedly led the Magi to the Christ child. The next time such a close conjunction of these two planets occur will be on 2080 March 15.
More information: Link >>> https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/great-jupiter-saturn-conjunction-dec-21-2020
Astronomical Calendar for 2020 December ---
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2020.html#dec
Related Blog Post ---
"Astro-Calendar: 2020 Nov. / Centennial: Commercial Radio Broadcasting."
Sunday, 2020 November 1.
Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
Tuesday, 2020 December 1.
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Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
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Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>> http://www.planetarium.cc Buhl Observatory: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc