The night sky offers an ever-changing display of fascinating objects, from stars and constellations to bright planets, often the moon, and sometimes special events like meteor showers. The sky gazers will have a special treat throughout this month as, they can see 3 planets as darkness falls: Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter.
A rare solar spectacular display is happening during the month of December. Saturn and Jupiter, our two gas giants in the solar system, are edging closer and closer together and are set to “conjoin” together on the Winter Solstice. That occurs on December 21 Jupiter and Saturn will keep drawing nearer to each other in the sky, as we approach their great conjunction on December 21, 2020. Most conjunctions of bright planets and stars are much wider than the December 21, 2020, Saturn-Jupiter conjunction. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close that they will appear to form a “double planet.” The great conjunction, as the planetary alignment has come to be known, hasn’t occurred in nearly 800 years.
When their orbits align every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn get extremely close to one another. This occurs because Jupiter orbits the sun every 12 years, while Saturn’s orbit takes 30 years. On 21st December Jupiter will race ahead of Saturn. This overtaking of Jupiter will be hallmark event in the December night sky.
Raman Science Centre & Planetarium, Nagpur is organising a special observation program from 08th to 23rd of this month for the astronomy lovers at 06.00 pm. Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy the sight of these fascinating planets. The visitors will be taken to the actual observation of the event through 11 inches Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. The interested visitors and students may take the advantage of this opportunity in large numbers. Normal entry fee of science centre only will be applicable. The timings for this observation will be from 06.00 pm to 07.00 pm.