Jupiter’s retrograde ends and the Giant Planet begins to close on Saturn for the Great Conjunction of 2020.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the south as the sky darkens from early evening twilight.
Jupiter is now moving eastward compared to the starry background, while Saturn retrogrades – moves westward compared to the stars – until month’s end.
This evening Jupiter is to the lower left of Pi Sagittarii (π Sgr on the photo above) and to the lower right of 50 Sagittarii (50 Sgr).
Saturn is 8.1° to the left of bright Jupiter. It is 1.7° to the lower left of 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr).
The gap between Jupiter and Saturn begins to close until the Great Conjunction of 2020, when Jupiter seems to pass very close to Saturn in the evening sky. This is the closest conjunction since the Jupiter – Saturn conjunction of 1623. Great Conjunctions occur every 19.6 years, but this is the closest for nearly 400 years.
Before Jupiter passes Saturn in our sky, Jupiter edges past Saturn as viewed on the solar system’s scale in what is known as a heliocentric conjunction. This occurs on November 2.
Continue to look for Jupiter and Saturn each evening. During the next several weeks, watch Jupiter close the gap to Saturn.
Here is a daily summary about the planets during September.
2023, July 1: Mercury at Superior Conjunction, Brilliant Venus
July 1, 2023: Mercury begins an evening appearance with superior conjunction at the sun. Brilliant Venus is in an interval of greatest brightness after sundown.Keep reading
2023, June 30: Venus-Mars Quasi-Conjunction, Moon with Antares
June 30, 2023: Venus’ chase of Mars ends this evening with a quasi-conjunction. The bright evening gibbous is near Antares.Keep reading
2023, June 29: Venus Brakes, Scorpion Moon
June 29, 2023: Venus slows as it approaches Mars after sunset. Farther eastward, the bright gibbous moon is with the Scorpion’s head.Keep reading