Wednesday, October 27

Jupiter and Saturn aligned: is the conjunction of the two planets the star of Bethlehem?

  • Eric M. Vanden Eykel
  • The Conversation*


How does this astronomical event compare to the star that led the Magi to the portal of Bethlehem?

On December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will intersect in the night sky and, for a brief moment, they will appear to shine together as a single celestial body.

While planetary conjunctions like this are not everyday events, they are not particularly rare either.

This year’s conjunction is different for at least two reasons. The first is the degree to which the two planets will be aligned. Experts predict that they will appear closer than in almost eight centuries and also brighter.

But the second factor, and the one that has put this event in the spotlight, is that it will occur in the winter solstice, just before Christmas.

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