The Great Conjunction Christmas Star Shines Bright Tonight
The stars at night really do shine bright, deep in the heart of Texas, and tonight will be no exception. To be fair though tonight's amazing star occurrence can be seen brightly around the world.
Considered one of the rarest sky displays we will see in our lifetime the 'Christmas Star' shines tonight. Texans, start looking up a little after sunset.
How rare is tonight's Christmas Star? Scientists say it hasn't occurred since the middle ages. Yep, ponder this... the last known occurrence, speculated, was the year 1226.
Interestingly enough, this 'Christmas Star' is not a star at all.
The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn will be coming as close together as they ever get tonight, making it look like a giant star. These two super planets coming so close together is called a conjunction, when two astronomical objects have either the same right ascension or the same ecliptic longitude, and it's going to be awesome!
Some even say, miracle. Indeed tonight also marks the first day of the Winter solstice as well, just a few days before Christmas. If nothing else, this rare occurrence is a reminder, a time to reflect on how stars have guided us since the beginning, literally and figuratively.
Side Note: The Christmas Star is also known as the Great Conjunction. This sooo reminds me of one of my favorite films of all time, " The Dark Crystal."
If you don't own a high powered telescope, don't fret. One of the things I've learned through star gazing and visiting with astronomy clubs is that a good set of binoculars works well too. To put it into perspective, Gallelio began to chart the stars with a lens only 8x stronger than the naked eye. So even if you don't have binoculars you'll still be in good shape for tonight's Christmas Star. Again, it's going to be super bright.
"Look to the southwest about 40 to 45 minutes after sunset. That figures out to around 6:20 to 6:25 p.m." advises KSAT 12 news. "The conjunction will be visible through Christmas week. However, every night after Monday the planets will be visible closer to the time of sunset -- making it more difficult to see."
If you are able to capture it on your cell phone or camera, feel free to upload your photo for us on our stations app!
Speaking of photos, here is an amazing look at 2020 in photos.
LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020