When will Jupiter and Saturn enter Capricorn?

Jupiter meets Saturn: why the meeting was spectacular

  • Jupiter caught up with Saturn on December 21st.
  • The two planets only meet every twenty years.
  • This time it was particularly spectacular: only in 2080 will there be such a close encounter between the two.

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Just before Christmas reached the race two planets its climax: Jupiter started the final spurt. In the last few months one could observe how the giant planet Saturn tracked. Jupiter moved ever closer to the ring planet.

December 21st the time had finally come: Jupiter took Saturn in Capricorn constellation a. Only at a tiny distance of a fifth of the full moon diameter did it pass south of the ring planet. Both planets then looked like a bright double star.

There is a rendezvous every twenty years

However, one could only briefly see the planet pair in the advanced dusk deep in the southwest sky see. Jupiter was that brighter planet, Saturn showed itself in one pale, yellowish light and was noticeably fainter.

Around half past six in the evening, both sank under the southwest horizon. The narrow one joined the two giant planets on the 17th Crescent of the waxing moon, a nice sight of the sky around 6 p.m.

The planets Jupiter and Saturn will meet great conjunction called. Since Jupiter is in twelve years and Saturn in barely thirty yearsthe Sun there is a rendezvous every twenty years. Finally, Jupiter and Saturn met each other Late May 2000 in the constellation Taurus.

This year the meeting is particularly spectacular

However, that meeting was by no means as spectacular as this year, because at that time both were separated from each other by two full moon diameters. Also the next big conjunction on October 31, 2040 in the Virgo constellation won't be as tight as this time.

Only on May 15, 2080 there will be another meeting of Jupiter and Saturn as close as this year.

One more closer encounter of the two giant planets in the year 424 BC instead of. At Christmas 2874On December 25th, there will be another strikingly close conjunction. Jupiter will pass Saturn in only a fifteenth of the full moon diameter.

The most extreme approximation of both giant planets is on March 9, 4523 expected. To the naked eye, Jupiter and Saturn will then look like a single, bright star for an hour.

Next triple encounter only again in 2238/2239

Find Oppositions of Jupiter and Saturn take place almost simultaneously, so they are viewed from the earth together facing the sun, one speaks of a triple major conjunction.

This is a very rare occurrence: it happened twice in the 20th century "greatest conjunction" - each time at New year 1940/1941 as 1980/1981. The last one before that took place in 1682. Those who have not followed either of the last two triple conjunctions will in their life no opportunity get more about it.

The next triple encounter finds only 2238/2239 instead of. Then Jupiter and Saturn will run past each other three times during their looping movement during opposition time.

Take a look into space and enjoy fascinating space images: galaxies, star nebulae and planets from above.

Was the triple conjunction "Star of Bethlehem"?

Nice Johannes Kepler has suggested that the triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the year 7 BC as "Star of Bethlehem" is to be interpreted. At that time a delegation of Temple priests from Babylon in Jerusalemto the supposedly newborn King of the Jews to pay their respects.

They believed that the City deity of Babylon, represented by Jupiter, three times the king of the Jews, namely Saturn, in his Land of Palestine visited. They saw this as a sign that an heir to the throne was being born. (ff / dpa)

On December 21st, Jupiter and Saturn meet. The meeting of the two planets is rare. Because such a great conjunction only occurs every 20 years.
Teaser picture: © picture alliance / AA