“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky,” Hartigan told Forbes.
Some astronomers, including legendary German astronomer Johannes Kepler, has suggested that the star of Bethlehem in the Bible was possibly a rare triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus, Forbes magazine notes.
“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another,” Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, told Forbes.
As Christmas nears, astronomers are urging citizens to look to the sky in a few weeks to witness something not seen in almost 800 years.
From Earth’s viewpoint, Jupiter and Saturn are getting very close to one another and will look like a double planet when they appear to nearly collide on Dec. 21 — the date of the winter solstice — forming a rare phenomenon known as a “Christmas star.”
Forbes reported that Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages.
Both Jupiter and Saturn have been traveling across the sky together all year and during the first three weeks of December, the planets will continue to move closer after each sunset, NASA officials said.
On Dec. 21, the planets will appear just a tenth of a degree apart, which is equivalent to the thickness of a dime held at arm’s length, according to NASA.
This happens every 20 years this century; however, NASA officials said this event is “the greatest great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn” and won’t happen again until the year 2080.
In astronomical terms, conjunction is when two objects line up in the sky. Some astronomers believe that the “star of Bethlehem” was a conjunction between Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.
For the first time in eight centuries, the two largest planets in the Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, will look like a “double planet” in the night sky on Dec. 21, which is being referred to as the “Christmas Star,” as some astronomers believe a similar “conjunction” appeared that was called the “Star of Bethlehem” in the Nativity story.
The two giant planets will appear just a tenth of a degree apart, or about the thickness of a dime held at arm’s length, NASA explains. “This means the two planets and their moons will be visible in the same field of view through binoculars or a small telescope. In fact, Saturn will appear as close to Jupiter as some of Jupiter’s moons.”
Occurring after about 800 years, this event is also the “greatest” great conjunction — when two objects line up in the sky — between Jupiter and Saturn for the next 60 years. The two planets won’t look this close in the sky until 2080.
You’ll be able to witness the event in the sky through binoculars or a small telescope, according to NASA. The best viewing conditions will be near the equator, Hartigan says, but the conjunction will be observable anywhere on Earth, subject to weather conditions. He adds that the planetary duo will appear low in the western sky for about an hour after sunset each evening.
Matthew 2:1-2 states, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’”
The Team at 3rd Party People believe this event is of biblical importance. We may be celebrating early… Let this date, 12/21/2020 be our beginning of the new year, a new life, a rebirth of yourself, your career, and remove whatever hurdle you have in front of you.