2020 is rich in astronomical events.So, very soon Jupiter and Saturn will meet for the first time in almost 400 years. The largest planets in the solar system were last so close to each other back in 1623. Interestingly, the "Great Conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn can be observed every 20 years, however, most of these meetings are invisible to the naked eye, as they occur in daylight. Now astronomers are preparing for a celestial performance, during which the gas giants will approach each other by the light of the moon. This bright and truly long-awaited event will take place on Monday December 21st. Saturn and Jupiter will rise to the firmament shortly after sunset. Sometime in the past, our ancestors perceived the “Great Connection” as an omen of future events, capable of predicting not only fires and floods, but also the final collapse of civilization. Fortunately, today we know that stars and planets do not affect our life in any way, so we can safely enjoy the upcoming astronomical event.
Secrets of the night sky
Number of celestial objects on a clear nightstrikes the imagination - stars, constellations, ensembles of planets, the moon, meteor showers. Unfortunately, today's metropolitan residents cannot truly enjoy the beauty of the night sky due to light pollution. But if you happen to escape from the city or if you live in the suburbs, then at night the stars will instantly appear before you, provided, of course, that the sky is not overcast. But the human eye, while amazingly complex, is still not perfect. Without auxiliary instruments, we will never be able to make out the tens and millions of stars that we know today through telescopes.
But if you don't have access to the nearestthe observatory is not scary, because today everyone can watch the night sky. With the help of amateur telescopes, you can observe some objects invisible to the naked eye, and you should also take a closer look at the beautiful Moon. As for those of us who, for one reason or another, are stuck in the city but really want to look at the stars, astronomical applications and sites will help you enjoy the spectacle. In the end, if you know where to look, then it becomes obvious - the sky is more than just the moon and stars.
Next time Jupiter and Saturn will be so close together in the night sky after 400 years.
According to The Guardian, Matthew Beit, professortheoretical astrophysics at the University of Exeter, has installed a telescope on the roof of the building and intends to broadcast his observations on December 21 live on his YouTube channel. The upcoming astronomical event is also unique in that never before has not a single person looked with a telescope at the "Great conjunction" of Jupiter and Saturn.
Despite the fact that Galileo first observedJupiter and Saturn back in 1610, that is, 13 years before their last closest approach, unfortunately, no records of anyone observing the convergence of gas giants through a telescope have survived. There are at least two good reasons for this. Firstly, during their meeting in 1623, Jupiter and Saturn were close to the Sun, and therefore, perhaps, they sat down by the time it got dark. Secondly, it is very dangerous to point the telescope near the Sun. So if you observe the convergence of gas giants personally, remember that you are one of the lucky few observing the rarest astronomical phenomenon.
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Meeting of Saturn and Jupiter
According to Dr. Emily Drabek-Maunder, astronomerfrom the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the upcoming astronomical event is really special, because "the planets will be so close to each other that they can look like one very bright star." It is believed that the "Great Conjunction" occurs when Jupiter and Saturn appear in the sky at a distance of one-fifth the width of the full moon. In 2020, this event coincides with the winter solstice, when the tilt of the Northern Hemisphere from the Sun is responsible for the shortest day and longest night.
I cannot but note that both of these astronomical events literally “put on the ears” of all, excuse me for mentioning, the astrologers of the planet. Let me remind you that astrology is not a science, and the predictions of astrologers are pure invention, less often - an accident. I talked about how social networks help pseudoscience spread in this article.
As for the meeting of Jupiter and Saturn, boththe planets will most likely be visible to the naked eye, but the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn will not. And armed with good binoculars, you can see the four largest moons of Jupiter - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. But do not forget that you can also enjoy the spectacle online. A number of astronomical communities and some scientists will broadcast live. Well, will you watch the closest convergence of the gas giants? You can share your stories in the comments to this article, as well as with members of our Telegram chat.