In December, Saturn and Jupiter will approach as close as possible for the first time since the Middle Ages

Astronomers from Rice University (USA) found that on December 21, 2020, after sunset, Jupiter and Saturn will approach the maximum distance since the Middle Ages.

Approaches between the two planets are quite rare. They happen about once every 20 years, but this convergence is extremely rare due to how close they will be to each other. Previously, this only happened on March 4, 1226.

Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University

Jupiter and Saturn have been approaching each other since summer. From December 16 to December 25, they will be separated by a distance less than the full moon’s diameter.

The equator’s inhabitants will have better conditions for the observation, but all people on Earth can observe the phenomenon if the weather permits. The planets will appear in the western sky about an hour after sunset. The further north the observer is, the less time he will have before the planets descend below the horizon. However, Jupiter and Saturn are bright enough to be seen at dusk.

The next time these celestial bodies converge so close only on March 15, 2080, and after – only in 2400.

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