What’s going on?
Popular Mechanics reports that Jupiter and Saturn will align for the first time in centuries. In fact, the two planets haven’t been this close since the Middle Ages.
- The two planets will appear as a double planet on Dec. 21 — the winter solstice.
- The two planets will be separated by less than the diameter of the moon from Dec. 15 to Dec. 25.
- “Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan, according to SciTech Daily. “You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”