Seeing tonight’s Jupiter-Saturn conjunction


Weather report for December 21 got you down? See through the clouds — or at least commiserate — with RASC and Explore Scientific!

As Jupiter and Saturn reach their closest conjunction since 1623, RASC’s Steve Mallia (from Ontario Telescope and Accessories) and Scott Roberts from Explore Scientific are hosting The Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn: Global Star Party tonight, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Join speakers like Canadian comet sleuth David Levy, RASC president Robyn Foret, and Cathy LeBlanc and Dave Chapman of Mi’kmaw Moons.

Taara Jaffer is presenting on Saturn, Jupiter and their conjunction, while Tim Yaworski will speak about observing from the Canadian prairies. And if all goes to plan, RASC outreach co-ordinator, Jenna Hinds will provide a view of the conjunction using the RASC Robotic Telescope.

Leading up to the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn tonight, the RASC Robotic Telescope team has been imaging the planets each night. (RASC Robotic Telescope)

There are also special presentations from Gary Crawford on archaeo-astronomy, Mark Tovey and Peter Jedicke on astronomy poetry, and Chris Gainor on the Avro Arrow project.

The show begins here at 7:30 p.m. EST on December 21.

Planets at a glance

At their minimum separation on December 21, the planets will sit only 0.1 degrees apart, making it a terrific opportunity to capture their markings, moons and Saturn’s rings in a single photograph taken through a telescope. 

Get more details in Planets at a Glance by Chris Vaughan. This piece also includes audio, for those who like to listen to their stories.

Exploring the Night Sky

Read more about the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Brian Ventrudo’s “Exploring the Night Sky,” in the November/December edition of SkyNews.

As he notes, you’ll have to work quickly to catch photos, as the two planets are just 30 degrees east of the Sun and less than 10 degrees above the horizon at dusk.

This Week’s Sky

The conjunction isn’t the only event in the sky tonight. Those in western Canada will also be able to see the Moon’s Lunar X, and before sunrise the minor Ursid meteor shower peaks.

Read This Week’s Sky by Chris Vaughan for more details.

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