Christmas Star: Saturn and Jupiter convergence to light night sky

Science & Technology

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A celestial oddity this week. Jupiter and Saturn merging in the night sky.

These planets haven’t been this close in nearly 400 years…and haven’t been observed this close at night in nearly 800 years.

This is video from the Ruth Patrick education center at USC Aiken. The conjunction of these two planets is called the ‘Christmas Star’ or ‘Star of Bethlehem’ for its connection to the nativity story.

“Even for somebody that has been doing astronomy, like myself, since I was 9…that is an incredibly rare event and I’ll never see this again in my lifetime,” said Neil Miller, USCA Astronomy Professor. “There won’t be another of these until 2080, with them this close, I probably will not be around then. I think it’s impossible to get out and I think especially in this year to take every little bit that is kind of interesting and enjoy it and to get people outside.”

The phenomenon will become more visible over the course of the next 4 days.

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