Great Conjunction 2020

a photograph of the pairing of jupiter and saturn close to the new moon with the last glow of the sunset in the west. in the foreground is a roadway with the streaking tail lights from vehicles passing through. it is a long exposure, so the lights leave long amber and orange lines across the image.
a photograph of the sunset with the near conjunction of jupiter and saturn floating in the blue of the approaching night sky, the new moon hovers nearby. in the foreground is a curving country road lined by the sihouettes of trees. there is a narrow purple streak of cloud at the right of the frame.

In my less than regular photography habits of late, it seems that the night sky is what is getting me to grab my gear and head out.

Last time is was comet NEOWISE, this time is the pending great conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn.

a photograph of the pairing of jupiter and saturn close to the new moon with the last glow of the sunset in the west. in the foreground is a roadway with the streaking tail lights from vehicles passing through. it is a long exposure, so the lights leave long amber and orange lines across the image.

Apparently these two planets don’t get together like this very often. The last time they did this was some 400 years ago, but they weren’t visible because it happened too close to the sun from our perspective.

a photograph of the pairing of jupiter and saturn close to the new moon in the night sky. in the landscape below are two vertical lines of lights from radio towers and a short line of headlights captured by long exposure leaving a short white streak at the bottom of the frame.

This year it’s happening at night. The last time they were visible like this was 800 years ago. It’s going to happen one more time during this century, in 2080, but then not again for another 400 some odd years.

They will meet and overlap each other in the sky on Tuesday the 21st. So if it’s not cloudy where you are that night, head out at sunset and wait for the last glow to fade.

You’ll see them shimmer out of the darkness, one in front of the other, looking brighter than ever.

Will this event bring any great event down here on earth? Not likely, but you never know.

There are more things in heaven and Earth … than are dreamt of in any of our philosophies.

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