Good news for the sky gazers as Jupiter and Saturn will merge in the night sky on today appearing closer to one another than they have since Galileo’s time in the 17th century. The celestial event will play out on today when the solar system’s two largest planets appear side by side in a “great conjunction” above the horizon soon after sunset. It will be the closest Jupiter-Saturn pairing since July 1623, when the two planets appeared a little nearer. This conjunction was almost impossible to see, however, because of its closeness to the sun.
The great conjunction will be seen in the night sky on Monday between 6.30-7.30 PM. To get a better view of the event, you will need binoculars or a place where there is a small telescope. This will not only give you a better view of the planets but the four moons orbiting around Jupiter. An astronomer in the Planetary Science Division at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters in Washington Henry Throop said, “The date of the conjunction is determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun, while the date of the solstice is determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. The solstice is the longest night of the year, so this rare coincidence will give people a great chance to go outside and see the solar system.” According to experts, the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is symbolically also a big thing as it takes place on the night of Winter Solstice, when the Sun starts returning to the Northern Hemisphere.