Christmas star will soon be gracing the skies! It is a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event happening for the first time in 400 years. Ahead of the event on December 21, the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn have come closer preparing for the mega show. Also, as the event will happen on December 21 coinciding with the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, sunset will be quite early. Perth Observatory's Matt Woods said the 'Great Conjunction' will be visible on Thursday.
And if you live in Australia, you will be able to see the phenomenon as early as Thursday. Australians will be able to see it low on the horizon in a south-westerly direction between 7:30 to 9:30 pm. The phenomenon will be visible at approximately 9 pm on the eastern coast. Woods said the last time these planets aligned close to Earth 'the telescope had just been invented'. It last happened in 1623. Saturn, Jupiter and Moon Form a Celestial Triangle in Night Sky Ahead of The Conjunction, View Beautiful Pics.
He said, "It gets fairly close every couple of decades but the last time they were this close was when Galileo was still alive on July 16, 1623." Jupiter will be 'one of the brightest in the west,' with the moon and the two planets making a triangle formation. He added, "They'll appear close to one star between 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm (AWST) and you don't need a telescope to see them."
Woods also said that those using binoculars or a telescope, will be able to spot the planets and their moons too. Saturn's biggest moon, Titan, is the second-largest in the solar system. While the planets will appear closer, they will be 400 miles apart. The event will be called 'Christmas Star' referring to the event in The Bible where "wise men from East" came looking for the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem following a star.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 17, 2020 10:16 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).