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Jupiter and Saturn to collide this year!

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#1 Ian67

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:32 PM

well it is  2020  right?

Ok seriously, I was reading on space.com that Jupiter  and Saturn will be  so close  to each other  in the  SW sky on the  evening of  December 21st that they will appear at a quick glance to be  one  planet. They can be separated with a  moderate  sized scope  of  astro binoculars.

Though I imagine  it depends were in the  world  we  are looking up??  Or  would this  be  such a  "close encounter" that it would not make  a  difference??? The  article  said  the  last time  this happened was  in 1623!!  if  that is  indeed  correct, I don't know.

 

Anyone  else  seen this news???

 

Ian


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#2 Stellar1

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:37 PM

This is very interesting, i wonder if they will be close enough to observe within a particular eyepiece FOV, that would be off the hook.



#3 ButterFly

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:39 PM

It's fairly low around sunset, so it's more like up-ish.

 

But yes, they should both fit in a high power field of view.  Run it in Stellarium for your eyepieces.



#4 mtc

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:39 PM

Yes. It also is readily previewed/confirmed in programs that show the sky on any given night.

#5 ShaulaB

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:45 PM

At closest, they will be 6 minutes of arc apart. For comparison, Alcor and Mizar are 14 arc minutes apart. A lot of people are able to see Alcor and Mizar as separate stars.

 

Where I live, they will be around 15 degrees above the horizon, and setting, at 5pm. Fortunately, it will be near Winter Solstice, so sunset comes early.



#6 Ian67

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 06:50 PM

Thx for  that info guys, I don't have  any astronomy software to confirm that. Too many problems using them. But  I have  put this  on my calendar to see!!



#7 Tyson M

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 07:05 PM

The great planetary conjunction!  It will be interesting to try and catch this.



#8 Sheol

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 07:13 PM

      Hmmmm, this one will be very interesting indeed. Last one I saw was Saturn & Mars. Now let us see if the King of the Planets & the Gods can match the Lord of the Rings! smile.gif  May be a bit hard to catch though & seeing might be marginal where they might be in my sky at this time.

 

     Clear Skies,

       Matt.



#9 Mike Lynch

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 07:34 PM

Here's a screenshot from Sky Safari of the two planets that night...very close indeed!

 

The app shows them about 6' 17" apart at the time of that screenshot. 

 

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  • Screenshot_20201103-193106_SkySafari 6 Pro_copy_1440x900.jpg

Edited by Mike Lynch, 03 November 2020 - 07:39 PM.

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#10 MarMax

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 07:45 PM

Looks like the 5:30 to 6:30 pm window is about all you have to take a peek, at least here in SoCal. About 10 degrees is my Alt limit in that direciton.



#11 TOMDEY

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 08:01 PM

The Human Eye should resolve that OK. I have a feeling that the mutual glare might make it challenging, though. I'll guessing that 2mm pinholes over your eyes may help. that will make them look more pointlike, not as bright, but crisper and much better resolved. Those big pinholes also clip most of the aberrations from your vision (myopia, astigmatism, etc.)...

 

I drilled a bunch of graded holes in some thin sheet metal (spray-painted black) and experimented with that years ago. The effect is quite revealing! If you've never played around with that, give it a try. First on daytime stuff and then later looking at bright stars etc. If your vision is averagely good --- you will be astounded at how much better your resolution becomes with intentionally-clipped pupils. Hold the pinholes very close to your eye... very Very close!

 

Build and test the drilled pinholes well before the event, so you're familiar and comfortable with their use. We astronomers are so obsessed with more light, dark adaptation, max pupil size... that we forget that sometimes smaller pupils win.    Tom

 

~click on~ >>>

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  • 23 how a cat sees the pleiades.jpg

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#12 chrysalis

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 08:14 PM

Saturn 7' north of Jupiter 8AM 12-21-20 from 36.25° N, 80° W

 

From CdC

 

j-s-12-21-20.JPG

 

By 5:30 PM when dark will widen to ~ 10-11'.

 

For reference, the red ring enclosing both planets is 20'.

 

Moons will come close to "entangling" - close up at 5:30 PM:

 

j-s-12-21-20 moons.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, 03 November 2020 - 08:16 PM.

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#13 JoeInMN

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 08:40 PM

Here's a mashup of clips from Stellarium, of the two planets superimposed on the Moon at the same date/time, just to give a sense of scale for the separation...

 

201221_jup_sat_moon4scale_700.jpg

 

So, basically, REALLY close! I'm going to ask for 12/21 as a vacation day, so I don't have to haul my scope to work...


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#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 November 2020 - 09:55 PM

The two planets will be located in the southwest at an altitude of only 14 degrees at 5:30 p.m. EST from latitude 40 degrees north.

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  • Jupiter & Saturn December 21 Stellarium.jpg

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#15 JoeInMN

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 02:29 AM

Yep... Low over the horizon in an orange sky and swimming in terrible seeing. Fortunately the event we're observing is the closeness of the conjunction itself, which doesn't involve actually seeing good detail on either planet. The next time we'll see our two largest planets together will be twenty years from now, just about as low in the morning sky and considerably more widely separated.


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#16 chrysalis

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 04:33 AM

The two planets will be located in the southwest at an altitude of only 14 degrees at 5:30 p.m. EST from latitude 40 degrees north.

From my site - from http://users.softlab...pts/suntime.htm - twilight times on 12-21-20 (typing one-handed so I didn't change the year...never seems to make a difference...)

 

jupiter-s-12-21-20 twilight.JPG


Edited by chrysalis, 04 November 2020 - 04:34 AM.

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#17 TiSaph

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 07:09 AM

I was planning to go to Chile in Dec for this event and the total solar eclipse. But thanks to 2020,...

#18 chrysalis

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:25 AM

Just received December issue of Astronomy. There's a nice article on this conjunction by Bob Berman.


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#19 BillP

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 05:23 PM

Low on the horizon for the Virginia area, plus sets by the time it gets dark.  On the 20th will only be 15 deg above the horizon at 5:30pm in the SW sky, so about an hour after sunset.  In my 4" f/8 the 2 planets AND M74 will all be in the same FOV with a 30XW.  With a 5XW (160x) or the 3.5XW (230x), both planets will still be in the same FOV!

 

Between 1:30-3:00pm though they max out just above 30 degrees so might be better for some daylight observing.  Their magnitudes will be 0.6 and -2 so should be doable with a Polarizer+80A filters to darken the background sky.


Edited by BillP, 04 November 2020 - 05:28 PM.

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#20 Sheol

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 07:19 PM

     Pretty bad timing as seeing will likely be very poor at that hour in my area. Well, I can still give it a try. Also, assuming the weather cooperates. A rather large assumption for Texas in December!

 

    Matt.



#21 musicengin

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 07:33 PM

Oh, what fun! definitely planning for this.  Weather permitting...



#22 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 07:36 PM

A much closer conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn:

 

https://www.cloudyni...aturn-for-real/



#23 ButterFly

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 12:38 AM

A much closer conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn:

 

https://www.cloudyni...aturn-for-real/

I probably won't live that long!

 

22 November 2065 12:45 UTC, a mere 8 degree elongation with Venus transiting Jupiter.  I'd eat more veggies, but it'll probably be cloudy anyway.



#24 Sheol

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 07:05 PM

       Well, just remember what you see on those two planets anyway, Butterfly. A whole atmosphere full of :       

    CLOUDS. LOL

 

      Clear Skies,

       Matt.



#25 REC

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 02:41 PM

From my site - from http://users.softlab...pts/suntime.htm - twilight times on 12-21-20 (typing one-handed so I didn't change the year...never seems to make a difference...)

 

attachicon.gifjupiter-s-12-21-20 twilight.JPG

How high above the horizon do you see from NC at 34* right after sunset?




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