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After sunset in the southwestern sky.

December 21, 2020

Planets align as rare ‘Christmas Star‘ appears in SA skies tonight.

planet earth, saturn and jupiter in a cosmic cloud

As we continue to practice social distancing, these two planets -Jupiter and Saturn -are gearing up for an up close and personal spectacle.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), Jupiter and Saturn will be doing a planetary dance that will result in the Great Conjunction this evening.

Jupiter and Saturn will be right next to each other in the sky โ€“ the closest they have appeared in nearly 400 years!


Putting on a celestial show just in time for the holidays, December 21, which coincidentally is the summer solstice, Saturn and Jupiter will align. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until 21 December, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.

While not of huge astronomical significance, events like this great conjunction are wonderful because they โ€œgive everyone a chance to reconnect with the stars and planets and to look beyond Earth and all its troublesโ€.

Happy planet gazing, star gazers.


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