Jupiter in 2020, Report no.8: The Great Conjunction

The final notable event of the 2020 apparition was the extremely close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  Having been been gradually drawing together in the evening sky throughout December, on Dec.17 they were only half a degree apart, near to the crescent Moon.  On Dec.21, the two planets were at their closest, only 6 arcminutes apart. Although these ‘Great Conjunctions’ occur every 20 years, this was the closest since the year 1623, and fortunate in that the planets were far enough (30 degrees) from the Sun so that they were still visible even from the UK.  It was a striking sight to the naked eye and through a telescope, with the two planets in the same telescopic field.  Observers all over the world took images, some of which are attached here.  As Saturn is fainter than Jupiter, some of the images were enhanced so as to show both planets and their large moons clearly. (There was also a star visible among Jupiter’s moons.)  All images are copyright to the observers.

A selection of images is in this ZIP file:  Jup-Satu_Great-Conjn_2020dec21.zip

Here are a few of them (reduced size):

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