Jupiter and Saturn to align, appear as one bright star right before Christmas

by Peter Heck · Nov 26th, 2020 10:17 am

Last Updated Nov 28th, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Astronomers have announced that on this year's December 21st winter solstice, a rare astronomical event will occur as the planets Jupiter and Saturn line up perfectly in the view from Earth.

The last time this event happened was almost four centuries ago in 1623. Around that time, the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler theorized that this remarkable alignment that appears so brightly in the sky, could have been the very "Bethlehem Star" phenomenon recorded in the Gospels about the birth of Jesus.

Kepler believed that the alignment of these two massive planets, which also happened in the year 7 B.C., roughly the time of Jesus's birth, is what the eyewitnesses described to their contemporaries.

Americans will be able to observe the event in the southwestern sky, just after sunset, for a couple of hours. The next opportunity will come in March of 2080.


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