The next two combinations are due in 2040 and 2060, but they will not be as easy to see as they are now.
The Great Conjunction, which has created a huge buzz for the sky audience, is expected to last until Christmas. The pair between Jupiter and Saturn was spotted on 21 December and is expected to continue until this week. The close relationship between the two planets is nothing short of a spectacle and is a delight for those who like to see the constellations and the sky. It is to be noted that the conjunction is a coupling between any two planets and since Jupiter and Saturn are the two largest planets visible to the naked eye in the solar system, their conjunction is called the ‘Great Sandhi’. Interestingly, these two planets have aligned after about 20 years, thus this phenomenon is relatively rare.
To be sure, Jupiter takes 12 years to complete its orbit around the Sun and 30 years for Saturn.
What makes this conjunction special is the alignment of planets. When the positions of the planets on the orbital plane of the Earth are observed, the two align in a conjunction. This means that they are both casting the same angle from the referenced direction. Jupiter and Saturn, when viewed from Earth, can be seen one tenth of a degree apart. Some ideas may see them converting into one. However, audiences in most countries said they could tell them differently.
The rarity of this combination which can be seen from Earth can be seen in the context of the last great settlement in 1623. This according to an IE report, when Chhatrapati Shivaji was about to be born and Jahangir was ruling the Mughal Empire in India. Earlier, the coincidence was seen in 1226, a year after the death of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan.
Meanwhile, the spectacle is expected to continue until December 25 this week. On 21 December, Jupiter was seen overtaking Saturn when viewed from Earth. While the planets seem close, these two are more than 700 million kilometers away. Also, their distance between each other is smaller than what usually occurs during other conjugates.
The next two combinations are due in 2040 and 2060, but they will not be as easy to see as they are now. The next conjugate (this big one) is likely to happen on 15 March 2080.
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