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12/21/2020 – Ephemeris – Jupiter and Saturn will appear super close tonight

December 21, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, December 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:17. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:45 tomorrow morning.

Today we begin winter and the conjunction or extremely close grouping of Jupiter and Saturn low in the southwestern sky from about 6 to 7 pm. At that time they will be a fifth of the diameter of the Moon apart. Depending on sky conditions, Saturn may not even be visible, lost in twilight or in the glare of Jupiter which is 11 times brighter. A pair of binoculars, or a low power telescope will confirm their appearance, with Saturn to the upper right of Jupiter. Conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn occur about every 20 years, the last in 2000. The conjunction before that was a triple conjunction like has been proposed for the Star of Bethlehem occurring during the first 11 months of 1981. The next conjunction will be on November 5th, of 2040.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

 

Jupiter and Saturn as they would appear in a low power telescope field

Jupiter and Saturn as they would appear in a low power telescope field tonight December 21, 2020, between 6 and 7 pm. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts)

The Earth-Jupiter-Saturn conjunction line of sight.

The Earth-Jupiter-Saturn conjunction line of sight. Created using my LookingUp for Windows program.

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