The Great Conjunction, 2020 Dec.21

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.  For several days they were 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 posted in our ‘Jupiter in 2020’ page as Report no.8:  

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