Christmas Star: Great conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn set to dazzle soon
A rare celestial treat is coming on the winter solstice - a great conjunction, and it's being referred to as the 'Christmas Star.'
A conjunction of planets is when two move so close in the sky, they almost seem as one. A great conjunction, however, is when those two planets happen to be the largest in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.
Great conjunctions happen approximately every 20 years, but the planets don't always get this close, nor is the event always visible.
The last time the planets were this close from Earth’s point of view was back in 1623. However, it occurred too close to sunset, likely obscuring the pair. The last observable time these planets was all the way back in 1226!
Those that are unable to catch it this time around won't have to wait quite as long for the next event of this degree. The next time the planets come this close will be 2080, when Jupiter will completely cover the face of Saturn - something that won't happen again until the year 7541!
Unfortunately, not everyone reading this article will be around then, so best to take it all in this year!