The “Christmas star” lights up the December sky for the first time in 800 years
(WJW) – On December 21, people can witness something they haven’t seen in nearly 800 years.
That’s right, during the upcoming winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn line up to create an incredibly brilliant wondrous star, or what is known as the “Christmas Star” or the “Star of Bethlehem.”
These two planets have not appeared (relatively) close to the Earth’s vantage point since the Middle Ages.
“The alignment between these two planets is rather rare, it happens once every 20 years or so, but this pairing is extremely rare because of how close the planets are to one another,” Rice University astronomer Patrick Hartigan told Forbes. “You will have to go back to before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”
Northern hemisphere stargazers must turn their heads and telescopes to the southwestern part of the sky about 45 minutes after sunset to see the planets on December 21.
According to Forbes, stars of this size will not be seen again until 2080.
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