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Jupiter and Saturn 'converge' in the sky on December 21

The rare phenomenon will be observed after sunset on 21 December
As soon as the sun sets on December 21, 2020, low above the southwest horizon, a rare celestial phenomenon can be observed - the two largest planets of the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will “converge” visibly in the sky to such an extent that the human eye would hardly separate them as two separate objects. Such convergence of Jupiter and Saturn occurs approximately every 20 years, but this time it will be one of the largest, reported the Institute of Astronomy with the National Astronomical Observatory of BAS.

The last nearly as many “close compounds” on the two planets were in 1623 and 1226

In fact, the “merger” will only occur visible in the Earth's sky, while the distance between the giant planets will remain at all a bit. On December 21, they will be located nearly 740 million kilometres apart, astronomers inform.

On December 21, the sun in Sofia will set at 16.56 hours and about 30 minutes after that the light of both planets will be noticed. This phenomenon will be able to be observed from all over the world, but Europe, including Bulgaria, falls into the best observation area, and for us this approach will be the greatest. The end of the “union” of Jupiter and Saturn for the Bulgarian observer will occur with the sunset of the two luminaries - at 19.17 hours for Sofia.

Astronomers note that computer simulations of the planet's own movements from the solar system show that such an extremely visible approximation of Jupiter and Saturn is associated with the year of the appearance of the star of Bethlehem. It is very likely that the convergence of these two planets before 2020 is precisely the sign that foreshadows hope for the good then.

"If you manage to photograph the event, send us your photos and we will publish the most successful ones”, call on those who want to observe the celestial phenomenon astronomers from BAS.


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