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First Photos of the Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter

December 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I made my first effort yesterday to photograph the great Saturn-Jupiter conjunction of 2020 with the best pairing yet to come on Monday December 21. It's going to be a close call as the weather is forecast to be lousy until Monday and even Monday's forecast is partly cloudy and showers in the evening. The best time and only time to photograph this mega rare astronomical event is one to two hours after sunset on Monday. I may have to travel a bit depending on what I see on the weather radar. I have a 3000mm setup but wind and vibration will be a concern.

Adding to the rarity of this event is that it is occurring on the Winter Solstice. Wow!

On December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close together that they will be about 1/10th of 1 degree apart. This very close conjunction is given a special name: a great conjunction. They won’t appear to touch each other, but the proximity of this conjunction is closer than any Jupiter-Saturn conjunction since July 1623. That particular conjunction would have been hard to see because it would have been mostly lost in the glare of the setting Sun. The last time Jupiter and Saturn appeared this close AND they were easily seen away from the Sun’s glare? March 1226. This December’s conjunction is, indeed, a rare event. If you look at Jupiter and Saturn through a moderately magnified telescope, you should be able to fit both of them in the same eyepiece view.

Saturn is above Jupiter in the Photo with the Crescent Moon Below Jupiter

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