DENVER (KDVR) — In a year where we’ve seen so many bad things happen, the Christmas Star and Great Conjunction that filled the night sky on Monday were a bright spot in a dim year.
Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer in the sky than they have in 400 years.
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When the planets align, astronomers call it a conjunction, but since this one involves our solar system’s two biggest gas giants, it’s technically a “great conjunction.” Because the event is landing on a holiday week, many have begun calling the formation the “Christmas Star.”
Monday nights even was rare. The last time Jupiter and Saturn appeared as closely as they did was March 4, 1226. There was a closer conjunction of the planets some 400 years ago, but that event was not visible to many of us here on Earth, according to Space.com.
Great conjunctions happen on average every 19.6 years. NASA says after this month’s event, you’ll have to hang in there until 2080 to catch the next great conjunction of similar proximity.