Great conjunction: Saturn, Jupiter to converge, closest since Middle Ages

The night sky is giving stargazers an early holiday present.

Saturn and Jupiter are going to have what is called a great conjunction.

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The two largest planets in our solar system will be closer and closer in the night sky appearing to almost kiss.

You can track their progress starting now as the two planets converge on Dec. 21, which happens to be the December solstice, Earth Sky reported.

They will be separated by .1 degree or about 1/5th of the full moon diameter.

A great conjunction is rare but not that unusual. There was one in 2000 and they happen every 20 years, Sky at Night Magazine reported.

But this year is the closest Jupiter and Saturn have gotten since 1623, and because of the timing of that one, happening right at sunset and only 14 years after Galileo made his telescope, people probably didn’t notice, according to Earth Sky.

So what will you see and what is the best way to see it?

In addition to the two planets, you may be able to see Saturn’s rings, the giant moon Titan and Jupiters Galilean moons Ganymede, Io, Callisto and Europa.

If you want to take photos of the planets and their moons, you will need a 200 mm lens, otherwise a small telescope with a 50x eyepiece should do the trick. Even a pair of binoculars will be enough, Sky at Night Magazine suggested.

Lowell Observatory in Arizona is hosting a livestream of the event:

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