Culture

Watch The Sky Tonight! The ‘Christmas Star’ Will Appear As Planets Align In A Way Not Seen In Almost 800 Years

If you’re reading this right around sunset, grab your phone, and take a quick stroll outside. 

On the night of December 21st, the planets Jupiter and Saturn – the two largest stars in the solar system – will engage in a “great conjunction,” aligning so closely as to form what has been called the “Christmas Star.”

Though obviously not a star, the two planets will be in such proximity as to make a bright splash of light in the night sky after sunset on Monday.

The occurrence isn’t exceedingly rare, happening once every 20 years or so, but the close range of both Saturn and Jupiter – separated by just 6 arc minutes according to Space – is something that doesn’t happen nearly as often.

“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky,” Patrick Hartigan, a professor of physics and astronomy at Rice University, said in a statement.

Hartigan defines the event as a “spectacular sight” and explains that the two planets will remain separated by less than the diameter of a full moon all the way up until Christmas.

Will You Be Able To See the ‘Christmas Star’?

As with many celestial events, certain locations will be better for observing the Christmas Star.

But there’s good news for everyone looking to catch a glimpse.

“Though the best viewing conditions will be near the equator, the event will be observable anywhere on Earth, weather-permitting,” a Rice News report reads.

“Hartigan said the planetary duo will appear low in the western sky for about an hour after sunset each evening.”

But CNN notes that waiting too long after sunset could create other observational issues.

“If you’re in New York or London, or along those latitudes, try to spot the conjunction right after sunset,” they advise. “Waiting an hour after the sun sets will only put the planets closer to the horizon, making them more difficult to spot.”

Is It The Star Of Bethlehem?

Many wonder whether the great conjunction could be an explanation for the Star of Bethlehem.

Professor David Hughes, an astronomer from the University of Sheffield, says that a triple conjunction – three occurrences in a relatively short period of time – could be behind it.

Space also notes this possibility:

The first conjunction (on May 29 — visible “in the east” before sunrise) presumably started the Magi on their way to Bethlehem from the Far East.  The middle conjunction (September 30) may have strengthened their resolve in the purpose of their journey, while the third and final conjunction (Dec. 5) occurred just as they arrived in Judea to meet with King Herod, who sent them on to Bethlehem to “go and search diligently for the young child.”

Another theory for the Star of Bethlehem has been a very bright comet, though these celestial objects at the time were typically viewed as a bad omen.

President Trump mentioned the biblical star at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony recently.

“More than two thousand years ago, a brilliant star shown in the east,” he said. “Wise men traveled far and they came and they stood under the star where they found the Holy Family, in Bethlehem.”

“As the Bible tells us, when the wise men had come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him,” the president continued.

“Christians give thanks that the Son of God came into the world to save humanity. Jesus Christ inspires us to love one another with hearts full of generosity and grace.”

The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, announced they will host a program beginning at 7 p.m. ET, showcasing live views of the great conjunction through its telescopes.

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance writer focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been following and analyzing the political climate for several years, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, FoxNews.com and more.

Recent Posts

Lawsuit Filed Against FBI After They Fail to Provide Communications With Facebook About Censoring Hunter Biden Laptop Story

A conservative legal group has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the FBI after…

33 mins ago

Soros-Backed District Attorney Candidate Suggests That DeSantis Should Be Criminally Charged For Martha’s Vineyard Incident

Liberals continue to be outraged at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to fly roughly 50…

1 hour ago

‘Where’s Jackie?’ Deceased Congresswoman’s Mother Explains to Biden That Her Daughter is ‘In Heaven’ as President Apologizes

The mother of late Congresswoman Jackie Walorski explained to President Joe Biden that her daughter…

21 hours ago

Ukrainian Diplomat Blasts Elon Musk After Billionaire Proposes Potential Path To Peace With Russia

Space enthusiast, eccentric billionaire, and social media provocateur Elon Musk shook up the Twitterverse yesterday…

21 hours ago

The Changing Face Of Gun Ownership Sparks Rise In Concealed Carry Insurance

As crime rates skyrocket across major U.S. cities in Joe Biden's America, not only are…

22 hours ago

DEA, Florida AG: Cartels Targeting Young Americans With Rainbow Fentanyl Pills That Can Kill Them

By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square) U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram and Florida Attorney General…

24 hours ago