The alignment is between Jupiter and Saturn
Stargazers have an early Christmas treat as they can see Jupiter and Saturn closer together in the Earth’s night sky – something that hasn’t happened in nearly 800 years. Let’s hope the night sky becomes clear
The two planets have been moving closer together since summer and will only be separated by 1/5 of the moon’s diameter between December 16 and 25.
Past and future orientations
Don’t get it wrong, the planets are not physically close to each other, but they look like a single point of bright light when you look up at the night sky. Patrick Hartigan of Rice University says that planetary alignments are quite rare as they occur every 20 years, but the alignment between these two is exceptionally rare because they are close together.
However, if you want to see it in all its glory, you have to be present somewhere near the equator. However, if there is a clear sky, you can see it well from anywhere on earth. On the dates above, you can see the two planets in the sky for about an hour each evening after sunset. Astronomers advise pointing your telescope at the western sky to see it. Hartigan says the next approach will be on December 21st and the telescope will allow you to see some of their largest moons as well.
The last time such an alignment took place was in 1226 and the next one will take place relatively soon in March 2080. After that, Jupiter and Saturn won’t get that close until around 2400.