Great Conjunction – Take Three

Alignments between Jupiter and Saturn are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so. This conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will get. The last time they were this close was just before dawn on March 4, 1226. That’s almost 800 years ago.

Unfortunately, this time, as spectacular as it is, the planets are pretty much on the other side of the sun, or rather, the earth is on the wrong side of the sun while it’s happening. Therefore, you can only see it from sunset for about an hour, before the “star” sets. If we were on the other side of the sun right now, we could lie on our backs in the grass, stare up at the night sky for hours and observe. Oh well, we’ll have to wait a few hundred years before the next chance.

Here is a photo I took tonight around 6:00pm Pacific time. If you look carefully, you’ll see the big eucalyptus tree silhouetted in front of the sky. Click to enlarge for better viewing.

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