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Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction, a rare celestial spectacle

KARACHI: The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, are coming closest together in the sky tonight after around 800 years, according to astronomers.

According to scientists, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close together on December 21, 2020 night that it will seem to eyes almost as though they are a single planetary body.

The celestial spectacle said to be a rare treat for the astronomy enthusiasts since the Middle Ages after around 800 years.

On December 21, 2020, on the winter solstice, the world will witness a planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

The double-planet spectacle could be sighted at the southwestern horizon in the sky.

Though a conjunction of these two planets happens every twenty years or so, rarely do both of them come quite so close to each other or are so clearly visible in the sky. In fact, the last time these two planets appeared in such close proximity was on July 16, 1623; and the last time such a conjunction occurred at night (when it could actually be observed by the naked eye) was March 4, 1226.

Similar celestial spectacle could be seen in future after 400 years, according to scientists.

Though the two planets will appear spectacularly close together on the sky’s dome Jupiter and Saturn are actually 456 million miles (734,000 km) apart.

In the Middle Ages, the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was called ‘the Auspicious Conjunction’, auspicious for the ruler as well as their subjects.

Among the key concepts of that time the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, was believed to mark the arrival of a divinely guided universal ruler who would fill the earth with justice and herald the end of the time.

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