Is NH Ready for The Great Conjunction?
Granite State astronomers are stoked for what will be the most exciting night skies we've seen in a long time. Something is about to happen for the first time in HUNDREDS OF YEARS.
THE GREAT CONJUNCTION
What does it mean? It means that Jupiter and Saturn will be closer to each other (from our perspective here on Earth) than they have in CENTURIES.
To be exact, the year 1623 AD! To put this in some historical perspective, The Mayflower Pilgrims had only been here in New England for 3 years! People were still mourning the death of William Shakespeare!
The reason for this rarity is pretty simple when you think about it. It takes Saturn THIRTY of our years to rotate around the Sun and Jupiter takes about twelve years.
Saturn has only made that trip 30 times since 1632 and when it gets to this point, there is only a one in twelve chance that Jupiter will be anywhere near it.
WHERE WILL IT BE?
The Great Conjunction will occur on December 21st (I know, The Winter Solstice! WOW) . All you need to do is look in the Western sky after dark and you will see it with the naked eye.
With a good pair of binoculars, Jupiter will appear much larger (not only because it is, but because it is also approximately 450 MILLION miles closer to us) and Saturn will appear more like a star.
They're going to be REALLY CLOSE, about one fifth of the face of the moon apart for a frame of reference.
And by the way, our Moon will be very close to these two on December 16th!
What a show!