Only in 2080 and 2400 will it be a coincidence that Jupiter and Saturn come so close again. It can be a normal day for those who count the days, they come and go every year. But for those interested in astronomy, December 21 will be a special day. On that day, two huge members of our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will come in the same line with the Earth. In this process, the distance between Jupiter and Saturn will be extraordinarily close
As everyone knows, all eight planets in our solar system revolve around the sun. In this way, while orbiting the sun, each of the planets rotates on its own axis and moves in its own orbit at its own speed. For example, as the earth orbits the sun, it is moving at a speed of 29.78 kilometers per second (107,208 kilometers per hour). Similarly, Jupiter orbits the Sun at a speed of 13.06 (47,051) kilometers per second, while Saturn orbits at a speed of 9.69 (34882.531) kilometers per second. In this way, the speed of rotation of the sun of each planet is different, so only a certain number of planets come in line with each other at a certain coincidence time. Next December 21 is such a coincidental time, the day Jupiter and Saturn come in a straight line with the Earth.
Every 20 years, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn coincide in this way. What is special about this coincidence is that after about 400 years, Saturn and Jupiter are coming very close to each other. The last time these two giant planets in our solar system came so close was in 1623 and 1226. Although Earth, Saturn, and Jupiter were aligned in 1623, they were only visible from a very limited area of the earth. But the scene that is going to take place on December 21 can be seen with the naked eye from many parts of the earth. This is a situation similar to that of 1226. Even then, this interesting astronomical phenomenon could be observed from many parts of the earth.
So some people call this unique event an event that is going to happen 800 years later. So this event will be especially fun for those who are interested in astronomy. Because, on this day, those planets will appear bright in the sky and very close to each other. December 21 is also the day when the winter season officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere. However, cold weather has already started in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Since Earth, Jupiter and Saturn are now in the same line, the last two planets appear in the sky. If you look at the southwest horizon after sunset, you can see these planets with the naked eye. These planets can be seen more clearly with the use of telescopes.
The event that the planets of our solar system come in a line with the earth as they rotate in their elliptical orbit is generally called conjunction, while the event that Jupiter and Saturn come in a line with the earth is called Great conjunction. Because this coincidence tends to be less than other planets. Every 20 years, Jupiter and Saturn reach roughly the same astronomical points. In this sense, this astronomical coincidence is interesting but not rare. But now the distance at which these two planets are approaching is special. Because at every such close distance, these two planets will return only in the next 60 years, that is, in 2080. In that case, the two planets will return at the same time on March 15, 2400. In this sense, the present astronomical event is of special importance.
Jupiter seems to be getting closer to Saturn in the sky since last September. The two planets, then 5 degrees apart, were seen 2 degrees apart in early December. As it gets closer and closer, it will be only 0.1 degree different by December 21. At that time, when viewed with the naked eye, the two planets may merge in the same place and look like bright stars. But a more accustomed person can see these two planets separately with the naked eye. With the help of more powerful telescopes, Jupiter and its satellites can be seen, including Saturn’s Vayal and clouds. Thus, these planets continue to appear in the same line in the sky from December 21 to January, 2021.
It has been mentioned above that this Great Conjugation continues every twenty years. In this sense, this kind of conjugation will now occur on November 2, 2040 and April 7, 2060. But then Jupiter and Saturn will be 1.1 degrees apart, not 0.1 degrees. This means that the distance between the two planets will be 11 times farther than on December 21, 2020. This time the Great Conjunction is also unique in the sense that Jupiter and Saturn will come very close. This kind of special proximity coincidence has occurred only six times between 1600 and 2599 and will continue to do so. Those years will be 1623, 1683, 2020, 2080 and 2417. At this point, the difference between Jupiter and Saturn will be less than 0.2 degrees.