Jupiter and Saturn merged in the night sky on Monday and appeared closer to each other than they had since Galileo’s time in the 17th century.
Astronomers say that so-called conjunctions between the two largest planets in our solar system are not particularly rare. Jupiter passes its neighbor Saturn every 20 years in their respective laps around the sun.
But this one was particularly close: Jupiter and Saturn were approaching each other, a tenth of a degree from our perspective, or about a fifth the width of a full moon.
According to experts, the celestial event should be clearly visible around the world shortly after sunset, weather permitting.
Throw in the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, the longest night of the year – and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere – and this spectacle, which happens just in time for Christmas, should be one of the greatest conjunctions.
As planned, space enthusiasts and skywatchers around the world looked at the night sky to witness the great heavenly event when Twitter was flooded with images of the same.
Meanwhile also the American space agency NASA divided Pictures of the great conjunction: