THE GREAT CONJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND SATURN
The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was a very bright moment for all the stargazers. And the social media is now flooded with the photos of not only Jupiter and Saturn but, also the four moons of Jupiter. Because Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years; and experiencing this rare moment of nature is really a luck. The last one was in the year 2000, twenty years ago. The 2020 great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226!
Jupiter and Saturn are in conjunction when they have the same right celestial longitude. This is what is referred to as a ‘GreatConjunction’, signifying the rarity of the union because unlike conjunctions with the other bright planets, these two don’t get close as often, reported Space.com.
The best viewing conditions were in clear skies and close to the equator. Hundreds of space fans also gathered in Kolkata to watch the “Great Conjunction” through a telescope at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum in the city, or from surrounding rooftops and open areas though the winter fog partially hindered the view.
The next “Great Conjunction” between the two planets not like this conjunction but will come in November 2040. A closer alignment similar to Monday’s will be in March 2080 with the following close conjunction 337 years later in August 2417, Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian centre for Astrophysics, told Reuters.
The two planets have never been so close since 1623, Director of MP Birla Planetarium, Debi Prasad Duari, said.
He said, “If Two celestial bodies visually appear close to each other from the Earth, it is called a conjunction. And such conjunction of the Saturn and Jupiter is at times called a great conjunction, if it happens once in a lifetime.”
Written By Palak Thakur.