The magic date is December 21st, and is when Jupiter and Saturn will align very close to one another in the night sky. This phenomena is very rare, and the last time it occurred was 800 years ago. Since Jupiter and Saturn will appear close together in the night sky, they will create a bright object known as a Christmas star. It is unknown if this is what caused the Star of Bethlehem, but we believe that was a separate unique occurrence. This year however, it will be a very timely occurrence, especially for the month of December.
Above is an illustration of a very bright distant star, most likely as seen through a telescope. With Jupiter and Saturn only being 1 degree apart in the night sky, it could create a brighter object than usual, but likely not as bright as the one seen in the picture above.
The time to view this is starting on December 21st, which is the winter solstice, and will last for an entire week an hour after sunset. The view will be in the southwest sky. We will need clear skies and NO CLOUDS to view this event! Stay with us here at Carolina Weather Authority for the latest forecast and viewing conditions.
The next time this will happen wont’ be until 2080.