How to See ‘Great Conjunction’ of Jupiter and Saturn in New York
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mother Nature is going to put on a sky show Monday night but unfortunately, she’s not going to allow us to see much of it here in the northeast.
The closest conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in about 400 years is occurring a little after sunset.
I saw it. About a 5 minute break/thin spot in the overcast. So it appeared fuzzy and not as bright as if it was clear but pretty cool! Both planets visible with binoculars.
Keep in mind, the planets are hundreds of millions of miles apart but from our perspective, they line up. https://t.co/0QCDZKf3Bx
— Craig Allen (@CraigAllenWx) December 21, 2020
This is the closest the two planets will come together since 1623, but that time it happened too close to the sun for anyone on Earth to see.
The spectacular celestial event hasn’t been observable at night in nearly 800 years.
If visible, this would look like an incredibly bright star. You would easily see it, low in the west/southwest sky for over an hour.
The brightness of this conjunction may very well be the scientific reasoning behind “The Star of Bethlehem” or “Christmas Star.”
The day started cloudy but we were teased by a few hours of sun and clear skies. If only it could have lasted longer. The clouds are moving back in ahead of a few rain and snow showers overnight. So chance of viewing this phenomena are now almost nil.
There could be enough thin spots in the overcast skies to catch a fuzzy and not-as-bright glimpse of the planetary alignment. Binoculars could help!
Keep in mind, this is just our perception from Earth. The two planets are still hundreds of millions of miles apart but our line of vision would make it look like they are right next to each other
We still have a chance Tuesday and Wednesday evening. Better weather is expected. The planets won’t be quite as close but it should still afford a spectacular sight.
The next great conjunction won’t occur until 2080.
Neil A. Carousso edited WCBS Chief Meteorologist Craig Allen’s special video for WCBS Newsradio 880.