What is the ‘Christmas Star’ and how do I see it?

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LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10)—The Christmas Star is not a star at all.  Roughly every 20 years Jupiter and Saturn aline creating a bright ‘star’ in the heavens.

This phenom got its Christmas name it is believed, by being seen in the sky around Jesus’s birth.

“One of these conjunctions happened around the same time,” said Dr. George Hassel, Lab Manager for Physics at Siena College. “It could have been a supernova, but no other culture at the time saw that, I believe.”

According to Dr. Hassel, this year’s event is the first time in 800 years that the conjunction has happened above the horizon.

“When it first starts getting dark, look to the southwest sky,” explained Dr. Hassel. “It’s just above the horizon, just about at the tree line. Jupiter is going to be the brightest thing in that part of the sky.”

As Christmas approaches, the two planets can be seen moving apart from each other.

Dr. Hassel said because of cloudy skies the best way to see the two planets is to go to the Lowel Obserivtory website and watch it live on their telescope.

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