Jupiter, Saturn and the moon form a triangle in the night sky

Starry sky over the monumental

While we patiently wait for the twinkling poinsettia, the night sky has decided to give us a cosmic advance show for just one night. Jupiter and Saturn will align more closely on December 21st than in almost 800 years, but before the main event, the two planets will form a cosmic triangle with the crescent moon. The triangle won’t be visible until December 16 and will form when the moon is high in the night sky or about six degrees southwest of the planets astronomy.

The triangle appears shortly after sunset or shortly after 7 p.m. local time. Before you break out the binoculars, however, make sure you have a good view of the phenomenon. When you are in a place outside of light pollution, the planets become more bright and the trio is easiest to spot when they are high in the sky. If you miss the formation on December 16th, the planets will do a similar dance on December 17th and 18th. You won’t be quite as close as before, however. When you have a minute, go to the next window and take a seat to watch the opening act of Cosmic Extravaganza in December.

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