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How to See the Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction

A once in a lifetime astronomy event is coming up on Dec. 21, 2020. The Jupiter and Saturn conjunction has not been this close in over 200 years! Some are also calling it the “Christmas star” because the two planets will look like an elongated star in the night sky from an observable perspective!

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What is a Planetary Conjunction

A conjunction is the close alignment of planets and other objects in the night sky. When a conjunction is labeled as a great conjunction, it describes the close-alignment of the biggest planets in our solar system Jupiter and Saturn!

How to see the Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction Without a Telescope

Many astronomers seek dark sky locations to get the night sky's best views, but this rare conjunction will be so bright that it will be visible from almost anywhere, including light-polluted skies!

Stargazing and Observing Tips

  • Find dark sky sites - although not necessary for this conjunction.
  • Adjust your eyesight - it takes up to 30 min for eyes to adjust to dark skies!
  • Use astronomy apps like the Celestron SkyPortal App
  • Plan ahead - pack your outerwear and stay warm!
  • Join a space channel - ClearSkiesNetwork streams live almost daily!

Check out our How to Stargaze Without a Telescope Guide for more tips!

How to See the Conjunction with Your Telescope 

Even though the Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction will be observable without a telescope, it is advantageous to get celestial front row seats!

Some great features to see of Jupiter are its Great Red Spot and Jupiter’s moons! Check out more of Jupiter’s features below.

How to see the Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction - Jupiter Features

Since Saturn will also be brightly visible, you can use your telescope to view the rings around Saturn! You can also look for the Cassini Division, a dark gap between its two brightest rings.

If you want to capture the views through your telescope, the Celestron NexYZ Smartphone Adapter makes a great accessory. You can also place your smartphone on your eyepiece to capture the great conjunction that way. 

Check out our guide on How to See the Planets with a Telescope for more ideas!

Best Planetary Cameras for the Conjunction 

The ZWO ASI290MC has been listed as the ultimate planetary imaging camera for its sensitive chip paired with fast video frame rates, the most searched spec in planetary imaging. You can use it for lunar imaging too!

Here is a look at what you can capture with the ZWO ASI290MC!

How to see the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction - images

For more equipment ideas, check out our Best Planetary Cameras for planetary and lunar cameras recommended by the OPT Team!

How to Capture Jupiter 

Bought your planetary camera but still looking for tips? Check out our blog on How to Photograph Jupiter for an in-depth guide on capturing the bright planet!

More December Astronomy Events

Even though the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction will be one of the month's last events, there are still some deep space objects you can look forward to capturing or plan to observe the last Full Moon of the month!

how to see the jupiter and saturn conjunction - astronomy events

Whether you are planning to observe the great conjunction through your telescope, or other gear, we hope you get the chance to look up!

Don't forget to tag us in your astrophotos! You can also email them to us at marketing@optcorp.com for a chance to be featured on our InstagramTwitter, or Facebook  

How will you be observing the great conjunction? Tell us in the comments below!


6 Responses

OPT

December 21, 2020

Hi Vicki, thank you for the good wishes! We are so happy to hear that you enjoyed this information. Sorry to hear about your telescope. A nice benefit of the conjunction is that it will be so bright that it won’t be necessary to see with a telescope! We hope you enjoy the view. Clear skies!

Marcella Stone

December 20, 2020

When my husband Larry Stone (94 years of age now) was in the Navy (1944-1946) he had a best friend named Gordon Prall. We used to exchange Christmas cards. I believe he lived in Longmont, Colorado. It has been many years since that we have been in touch. Wondering if Dan Prall is related???

Marcella Stone

December 20, 2020

When my husband Larry Stone (94 years of age now) was in the Navy (1944-1946) he had a best friend named Gordon Prall. We used to exchange Christmas cards. I believe he lived in Longmont, Colorado. It has been many years since that we have been in touch. Wondering if Dan Prall is related???

Saul

December 16, 2020

I hope in Oregon it will not rain or snow on this planet conjunction evening as planning to view in the telescope

Dan Prall

December 13, 2020

Correction; not 200 years. 400 years,and it couldn’t be seen in daylight then. Back to 1226 for the last visible one after dark.

Vicki

December 13, 2020

Great information! Am so excited to see this once in a lifetime event. Wish my telescope was here. Dang Covid has everything messed up. Thanks for your continuing updates. Merry Christmas and God bless!

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