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Jupiter-Saturn conjunction - December 21


Dear observers:

During these days at the end of the year, a unique astronomical event is taking place with the great conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn that will reach a relative distance of just over 6 arc minutes on the night of December 21. This very close planetary conjunction has not occurred with this closeness since 1623 and the next comparable conjunction will be in 2080. Even with a modest telescope it will be possible to see both planets, the rings of Saturn and the main satellites of both planets in the same visual field. As you know, both planets are low in our night skies at a maximum height of less than 30º and visible at the beginning of the night towards the West.

From the Spanish-Portuguese node of the Europlanet Society, the Spanish Astronomy Society, the Federation of Astronomical Associations of Spain and Astronomers without Borders we are organizing a set of activities to celebrate this astronomical event and the pleasure of night observation. We think that the joint vision of Jupiter and Saturn is an inspiring image, a true meeting of giants capable of raising our gaze towards the sky. We would very much like to have your observation of both planets. Whether you are a fan of deep sky astrophotography, or if you prefer planetary photography or even night landscapes, we invite you to observe these planets during the next few nights and send us your observations to the photo gallery that we are preparing.

The activities of this gathering of giants are avalaible here and include events to disseminate on the internet, retransmission of the conjunction by different telescopes on key days, and a gallery of images that we hope to fill with content thanks to your collaboration.

We are especially interested in photographs that show the conjunction on different dates as both planets gradually get closer to each other until they end only 6 minutes apart on December 21 to progressively move away from then on. If you wish to send us your images, please send your photographs to Joaquin Alvaro <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> along with your name. The images will be available on this website and if they are very numerous we will make a complete gallery and a gallery of selected images.

A cordial greeting.

Miguel Ángel López Valverde, Joaquín Álvaro y Ricardo Hueso Alonso (Sociedad Europlanet)
Blanca Troughton (Federación de Asociaciones Astronómicas de España)
Iñaki Ordóñez-Etxeberria (Sociedad Española de Astronomía)
Victoriano Canales Cerdá (Astronomers without Borders)
Ana Ulla (Sociedad Española de Astronomía)
Amelia Ortiz Gil (Nodo de divulgación de la Unión Astronómica Internacional)