Watch the great conjunction ‘Christmas Star’ with Siena College

Weather

Jupiter (left) and Saturn will appear to form a single star in the night sky on the 2020 winter equinox. (Credit: NASA/GSFC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn is called a “great conjunction,” and it’s quickly approaching as 2020 draws to a close. They will overlap in the sky, combining their light to form what looks like a single, super-bright star.

The conjunction is expected to “peak” on Monday, but the weather forecast suggests cloud cover that night. According to Siena College, that means Friday night may be the only chance to view the great conjunction from the Capital Region.

The Japan/Saturn alignment is rare, and it’s predicted to light up the sky for the first time since the Middle Ages. Some experts believe that a “Christmas star” two millennia ago—seen by the storied Three Wise Men around the time of the birth of Christ—was in fact the result of a great conjunction.

Siena College’s Physics and Astronomy Department’s YouTube has set up an online viewing party for 5:30 p.m. that will last about 30 minutes, depending on the weather:

The planets will also be visible to the naked eye near the horizon in the southwestern sky.


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