Science & Technology

The “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn on 21st December 2020.

The “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn on 21st December 2020.

Jupiter is known as the largest and fastest spinning planet in the solar system. It is the fifth planet in line from the sun. Jupiter is massive, it is twice the size of other planets combined. It is said that Jupiter has the dangerous radiation belt and iconic Great Red Spot.

Saturn is the second largest planet  after Jupiter. It is the sixth planet in line from the sun. This planet has the largest planetary rings and it is called a gas giant as it is made up of gas. It’s average radius is about nine times that of the Earth. 

Jupiter and Saturn are around 456 million miles away. Jupiter and Saturn conjunction happens once every 20 years, conjunction here means meeting of two planets where they come close to each other. In the year 2000 on the beginning of the new millennium conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn had happened. 20 years after the last conjunction in 2000 both the planets are going to come very close to each. On 21st of December 2020, Monday right after the sunset we will get to see the great conjunction of two largest planets, both Jupiter and Saturn will be just 0.1 degrees apart. It is assumed to look like a very bright elongated star. 

This will be the closest conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn since  1623 and will be the closest observable since 1226. On March 5th 1226 both the planets were just 2 arc minutes apart while, on July 16th 1623 they were 5 arc minutes apart but this time it will be 6 acr minutes apart. After 2020 the conjunction of these two planets can be observed only in the year 2080 on 15th March. 

Jupiter and Saturn are considered as the slowest moving planets. It takes around 12 years for Jupiter to make one complete trip around the sun while it takes nearly 30 years for Saturn to go around the sun. Every year Jupiter completes 30 degrees of its orbit while Saturn completes 12 degrees around the sun. So, Jupiter covers the gap of 18 degrees in a year. Therefore in 20years Jupiter covers 360 degrees and overtakes Saturn. 

According to many sources, this will be the closest conjunction ever since past 800 years. As the conjunction is going take place during the Christmas period many say that the alignment of both the planets is going to create the first “Christmas Star” in 800years. Hence this astrological phenomenon is the most awaited event for everyone.

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