2020, December 8-14: Jupiter on Final Approach

2020, December 8-14: Jupiter begins its final approach to Saturn as a prelude to the Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 8. Great Conjunction is December 21, 2020 when the two planets align.
2020, December 8: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 1.1° to the lower right of Saturn. The planets are in the southwest.

Jupiter and Saturn are found in the southwest after sunset. Begin looking as night falls, about 45 minutes after sunset. Jupiter is the bright star, about one-fourth of the way up in the sky above the southwest horizon. The observing window is good for about the next 90 minutes, but Jupiter gets lower in the sky. The pair sets about 3 hours after sunset.

Saturn is dimmer than Jupiter, but brighter than the other stars in region. The Ringed Wonder is to the upper left of the Jovian Giant.

During the week, Jupiter nearly cuts the gap to Saturn in half, from 1.1° to 0.7°

For more about the Great Conjunction, read our feature article. This is the closest Jupiter – Saturn conjunction since 1623.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 9, 2020
2020, December 9: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 10, 2020. Great Conjunction in 11 days. Planet alignment.
2020, December 10: In the southwest after sunset, bright Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 11, 2020. Great Conjunction occurs December 21, 2020. Best planetary alignment since 1623.
2020, December 11: About an hour after sunset, Jupiter can be found low in the southwest. Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 12, 2020
2020, December 12: One hour after sunset, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southwest. The Jupiter – Saturn gap is 0.9°.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 13, 2020
2020, December 13: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 0.8° to the lower right of Saturn. Find them low in the southwestern sky.

Jupiter and Saturn, December 14, 2020. The Great Conjunction. The planetary alignment of 2020. Planets aligning.
2020, December 14: Jupiter is in the southwest after sunset, 0.7° to the lower right of Saturn.

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