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Breathtaking photos of Jupiter and Saturn’s ‘Christmas Star’ conjunction

Stargazers from around the world captured magnificent photos of the rare cosmic event.

SHARE Breathtaking photos of Jupiter and Saturn’s ‘Christmas Star’ conjunction

Saturn, right, and Jupiter, with several of its moons, are pictured from the West Desert during the “Great Conjunction” on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Also dubbed the Christmas Star, the conjunction is the closest together the two planets have passed in Earth’s sky in nearly 400 years.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

On the night of the winter solstice, a rare cosmic event known as a planetary conjunction took place as two of our solar system’s biggest planets passed by one another.

During the conjunction, also referred to as the “Christmas Star,” Jupiter and Saturn appeared to unite for a few brief moments and shine as one bright double planet, while in reality the two planets were more than 400 million miles apart.

Stargazers, astronomers and photographers alike busted out their best cameras and telescopes to document the spectacular event. The Deseret News captured several photos from Utah’s West Desert that can be viewed in this gallery.

Here are a few of other images (via ScienceAlert.com):

Ed Piotrowski, the chief meteorologist for ABC-15 WPDE in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, posted this image of the planets on his Twitter account:

The NASA Earth official Twitter account posted a gorgeous image of the planets reflecting into a body of water — as well as Google’s cartoon of Saturn and Jupiter high-fiving:

Tom Kierein, an author and retired meteorologist, posted this lovely image of Jupiter, Saturn and Jupiter’s four largest moons on his Twitter account. According to Kierein, the photo was captured by Sajal Chakravorty in Melbourne, Australia:

Matt Newey, a Utah-based photojournalist, posted this image of the conjunction reflecting into the Great Salt Lake on his Instagram account:

A Bay Area landscape photographer named Jim Tang captured this incredible image of the conjunction shining high above the San Francisco cityscape and shared it on Instagram: