Historical conjunction: Jupiter and Saturn meet and reveal the Star of Bethlehem

Paris, France.

Jupiter and Saturn, both larger planets of the solar system, will approach as close as possible to this month, an astronomical phenomenon called “Great conjunction” and that it will not reappear in these conditions until 2080.

After sunset, at 18:22 GMT, the two gas giants will appear in the same field of view as observation tool, giving the impression that they are touching, although in reality they are separated for hundreds of millions of miles.

The visual approach between the two planets has already begun vyears monthsand will reach the minimum distance on Monday, Winter solstice (a match on the calendar). Eventually, it will appear that two stars are one.

The Great Conjunction corresponds to “the time required for of the planets to find similar relative positions on earth“Florent Deleflie from the Paris Observatory told AFP.

Jupiter, the biggest, lasts 12 years in giving back to the sun Saturn, 29. And every two decades or so, of the planets they seem to approach when we observe the celestial sphere from Golf.

Star of Bethlehem

In a perspective effect, of the giants it will seem soldering, “with a distance of only six minutes of arc between them, corresponding to about one-fifth of the angular diameter of the Luna “, needs Deleflie.

At first glance, magnification will give the impression that there is a the double planet, because “Jupiter and Saturn are two very bright starss, “he continues. The two planets will be so close that they will appear to observers” as one shining star, rather than as two planets. “

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The phenomenon popularly known as “Star of Bethlehem” It will be seen in its entirety for about an hour this month.

The last one The great conjunction took place in 2000, but to find a distance as small as the one that will take place on Monday, you have to go back to 1623. And a similar phenomenon will not happen again … until March 15, 2080.