fbpx
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Jupiter, Saturn and shooting stars: a week of celestial treats

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

An awesome celestial treat awaits stargazers as two of our solar system’s largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, will look like a double planet just after sunset on the evening of December 21, the beginning of the summer solstice in Australia.

This is the first time the two gas giants will appear this close to each other in nearly 800 years.

- Advertisement -

“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 one another,” Patrick Hartigan, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University in Houston, Texas, said in a statement.

“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.”

The space party started with the Geminid meteor shower on Sunday night and early into Monday morning, a Canberra Times report said. The Geminid is an annual meteor shower which occurs when the Earth passes through the tail end of the 3200 Phaethon asteroid encountering bits of rocks (shooting stars).

Although Jupiter and Saturn have been approaching one another in Earth’s sky since the summer, the two will be separated by less than the diameter of a full moon from December 16-25.

“On the evening of closest approach on December 21, they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon,” said Hartigan.

“For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.”

Though the best viewing conditions will be near the equator, but the event will be observable anywhere on Earth, if the weather permits.

Those who prefer to wait and see Jupiter and Saturn this close together and higher in the night sky will need to stick around until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said.

After that, the two planets would not make such an appearance until sometime after the year 2400.

IANS

READ ALSO: This International Asteroid Day, learn more about asteroids

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

bottled up

Bottled Up: creating conversations around men’s mental health

0
  When was the last time you took stock of your emotional wellbeing? When was the last time you checked in with yourself? These are...
Sydney's Gopal Garg has partnered up with Indian organisations Deepalaya and Nanhi Kali. Image: supplied

Business for good: Sydney’s Gopal Garg on helping teachers in rural...

0
  For Sydney entrepreneur Gopal Garg, education, charity, and business have all come together in a recent project that is seeing many thousands of lives...
Here Out West Sydney Film Festival 2021

Indian links at Sydney Film Festival 2021

0
  It’s been a while since we have had such an interesting bunch of Indian films at the Sydney Film Festival. India’s only all-female newspaper. A...
phone line

NSW’s first multilingual mental health phone line

0
  The NSW Government has announced a $130 million investment over four years towards sporting clubs and multicultural communities, to support mental health needs from...
Vicky Kaushal in Sardar Udham

Review: Sardar Udham (Amazon Prime)

0
  The Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919 may be an incident etched in the memories of all Indians owing to its mention in...