On Monday (21 December), Jupiter and Saturn appeared together in the night sky for nearly 800 years. To the naked eye, this “Great Conjunction” looked like a single, massive celestial object shining on Earth. But telescopes – and consumer cameras equipped with telescopic lenses – the planets showed their individual faces in awe as they spread across the sky.
Florian Crickbaumer, a photographer in the United Arab Emirates, captured the celestial spectacle from one of the sky’s most heavenly places: Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. From the skyscraper to a large parking area (which is 2,720 feet or 830 meters long), Critbachumer filmed the combination for 45 minutes, capturing the moment that the two planets approach each other (from their vantage point) closest to them. Make .
You can see her results in the time-lapse video below, which completed the entire shoot in about 20 seconds.
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“When I shot these, there were some clouds, so I was curious if I could even catch it,” Critchwumer told Live Science in an email. “Luckily, they opened at just the right time. Seeing Saturn’s rings and Jupiter with some of its moons appears next to each other in your viewfinder. It’s just an incredible moment.”
“Everyone should go out and experience seeing the planets and the night sky once in their life,” he said.
As it appears from Earth, Stunning, Saturn and Jupiter were not particularly close during the simultaneous conjunction, Live science first told. Currently Jupiter is about 550 million miles (890 million kilometers) from the Earth, or about 5.9 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth, while Saturn is about 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km) from the Earth, or about 10.8 times the distance from the Sun. Relative to each other, the planets were still 450 million miles (724 million km) away. They just look closer to us because Jupiter’s orbit brought it to the line between Earth and Saturn.
Originally published on Live Science.