Those who expect something brilliant from 2020 will have a rare opportunity on Monday night (21): a conjunction between the planets Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest in the solar system, which will be aligned as they did not happen eight centuries ago, in the known phenomenon like “the Christmas Star” or “big conjunction”.
Due to its luminosity, the historic meeting can be seen with the naked eye in almost all places on Earth, after sunset, depending naturally on climatic conditions. Anyone who observes the phenomenon through binoculars, telescopes or telephoto lenses will be able to see even the moons of Jupiter.
Anyone looking at the sky tonight will see a “double disc”, according to astronomers. In addition to Jupiter’s belts, even Saturn’s rings can be seen, as both planets will be closer to Earth as well. This is because, while our planet takes a year to revolve around the Sun, Jupiter takes 12 years, and Saturn, 30 years.
How to photograph the two giant planets?
Astronomer Felipe Navarete, from USP’s Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, explained to G1 that “we must look in the direction of the sunset. Right after sunset, we see a little more above the horizon”. Jupiter is the biggest point of light, and Saturn appears smaller and weaker, just above and to the left.