Jupiter and Saturn will come close enough to form first ‘double planet’ visible in nearly 800 years

In the complex dance of the solar system, two celestial bodies about to partner up.



a star filled sky with Gallery Arcturus in the background: Jupiter and Saturn have been appearing increasingly closer in the night sky, and they will appear to overlap as a “double planet” on Dec. 21.


Jupiter and Saturn have been appearing increasingly closer in the night sky, and they will appear to overlap as a “double planet” on Dec. 21.

Jupiter and Saturn often look far apart — two separate specks puncturing different parts of the night sky. But later this month, the two largest planets in the solar system will come so close to each other that they may appear to be overlapping, according to NASA, creating a kind of “double planet” that has not been visible since the Middle Ages.

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Skywatch: What’s happening in the heavens in December

The once-in-a-lifetime sight is the product of an astronomical event known as a “conjunction,” in which two objects line up with each other in the sky. When it involves Jupiter and Saturn catching up to each other, it’s

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Jupiter and Saturn will look like a double planet later this month

So, there are some things to look forward to in the final month of 2020.

On the night of December 21, the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so closely aligned in our sky that they will look like a double planet. This close approach is called a conjunction.
“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,” said Rice University astronomer and professor of physics and astronomy Patrick Hartigan 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.”

If you’re a stargazer, you’ve likely noticed Jupiter and Saturn have been getting closer together since the summer. And they’re currently visible in our

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Jupiter and Saturn to appear closest in night sky in hundreds of years

Keep a close look at the sky in December and you may see a very rare event.

Keep a close look at the night sky in December and you may see a rare occurrence between the two biggest planets in our solar system.

From now until Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will continue to get closer until they are just 0.1 degrees apart and form a “double planet,” according to NASA. And there’s a chance you’ll be able to see it for yourself.

The space agency describes the rarity of the 2020 event in-depth in its December Skywatching page. The rare event is officially called a “great conjunction.”

“These occur every 20 years this century as the orbits of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn periodically align making these two outer planets appear close together in our nighttime sky,” NASA writes.

NASA program

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Jupiter and Saturn to form ultra-rare ‘double planet’ this December

Winter solstice is around the corner and with it comes a rare and spectacular phenomenon in the night sky.

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will align to form a “double planet,” an occurrence that hasn’t happened in nearly 800 years, according to Deborah Byrd and Bruce McClure with Earth Sky.

HEAR A SOUND BITE FROM SPACE: Hear a sound bite from NASA’s Perseverance as it travels along the final frontier  

You may have already noticed the sky seems a little brighter these last few weeks. That’s because from Nov. 16 to 21, the two planets started

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How to see Jupiter and Saturn align in rare double planet conjunction

  • Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky on December 21. It’ll be the closest they’ve appeared in 800 years.
  • The two planets move into alignment, or conjunction, every 20 years. But this year, they will be so close that they’ll look like a “double planet.”
  • The last time Saturn and Jupiter were both this close and visible was in 1226.
  • Here are the best ways to see this conjunction.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jupiter and Saturn are about to line up perfectly in the night sky — the two planets will get so close on December 21 that they seem to touch. 

The last time they looked this close from Earth’s vantage point was nearly 800 years ago, on March 4, 1226.

An astronomical event in which celestial bodies align is called a conjunction. Since this conjunction involves the two biggest gas giants in our

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Fly over Jupiter in this stunning video from NASA’s Juno spacecraft

What if you could hitch a ride on NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter? We may be stuck on Earth, but the space agency has given us the next best option: a new video flyover of Jupiter based on photos from Juno’s recent flyby in June. 

The stunning video, which is made up of 41 images captured on June 2, gives us a glimpse of what we’d see if we were able to fly around Jupiter ourselves, combining pictures taken from different angles as the spacecraft sped by the solar system’s largest planet. 

Throughout the video, we see zoomed-in views of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere at Juno’s closest approach, when the spacecraft was about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops, as well as zoomed-out views. At the spacecraft’s closest point to Jupiter, the gas giant’s powerful gravity sped the spacecraft up to an impressive 130,000 mph (209,000 kph)

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Swedish space instrument participates in the search for life around Jupiter

Swedish space instrument participates in the search for life around Jupiter
The Swedish-led space instrument Particle Environment Package (PEP) is now ready to be sent to Jupiter and its icy moons. The Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) is responsible for the instrument to which eleven countries contribute. Two of the six particle sensors are built at IRF in Kiruna. Credit: Airbus

The Swedish-led satellite instrument Particle Environment Package (PEP) will help researchers at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) to understand how three of Jupiter’s icy moons are affected by the particles around Jupiter and search for the pre-conditions for life. After 14 years of work, the instrument is ready to take its place on ESA’s Jupiter spacecraft JUICE.


Prof. Stas Barbash is the principal investigator for the instrument Particle Environment Package (PEP) on board the European Space Agency’s spacecraft JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer). The instrument is the most advanced that IRF has so far constructed and consists

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Don’t miss Jupiter, Saturn and the moon forming a triangle in the sky tonight

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The moon will put on a show Thursday night with Jupiter and Saturn.


Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images

It’s thoughtful of the night sky to offer so many good views with so many people stuck at home. From the Leonid meteor shower to Halloween’s blue moon, skywatchers have been spoiled recently. And here’s another goodie: Head outside Thursday night to see the moon, Saturn and Jupiter form a neat triangle. The crescent moon will be visible in the south-southwest as soon as the sky darkens, but the other two show up a little later. Jupiter should make an appearance after sunset, and Saturn a little later on.

“The best observing time is about 30 minutes after local sunset for about two hours while the moon and planets are high enough in the sky to

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Weather on Jupiter and Saturn may be driven by different forces than on Earth

jupiter
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A trio of researchers, two with Harvard University, the other the University of Alberta, has found evidence that weather on Saturn and Jupiter may be driven by dramatically different forces than weather on Earth. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Rakesh Kumar Yadav, Moritz Heimpel and Jeremy Bloxham describe computer simulations showing that major weather systems on Jupiter and Saturn might be driven by internal rather than external forces, resulting in outcomes such as the formation of large anticyclones like Jupiter’s famous red spot.


Weather on Earth is primarily driven by processes that take place in a thin layer of the atmosphere near the planet’s surface. For many years, it has been thought that similar processes drive weather on other planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. In this new effort, the researchers demonstrate that such theories may be wrong.

The work involved creating

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When And Where You Can See A Stunning Triangle Of Lights As Jupiter And Saturn Meet The Moon This Week

If you want to see something beautiful this week then cast your eyes to the western skies this Thursday evening just after sunset.

For a short time a crescent Moon will sparkle in twilight alongside the Solar System’s two biggest planets—Jupiter and Saturn—before the three celestial bodies sink together into the horizon as darkness gathers.

Here’s exactly where, when and how you can see the event with your naked eyes this week.

MORE FROM FORBESThis Week Jupiter Aligns With Saturn. What Happens Next Will Be A Once-In-A-Lifetime Sky Event

When to see the Moon meet Jupiter and Saturn

On Thursday, November 19, 2020 it will be possible to see—just after sunset—a 28%-lit Moon shine beside Saturn (highest) and Jupiter (lowest). The two gas giants will be just 3.5º from each

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