5 Facts About Tonight’s Rare Cosmic Occurrence
1. Jupiter and Saturn will converge in their orbits tonight.
They will appear as a double planet in the night sky. — the first such occurrence in almost 800 years.
2. They’ll be so close that it will be difficult to separate them unaided by a telescope.
Jupiter will be the clearer of the two, since it is closer to Earth, with Saturn just next to it.
3. Jupiter and Saturn have been getting closer together since the summer.
While they may appear close, they are still hundreds of millions of miles apart, according to NASA.
4. The best time to observe the conjunction is at twilight.
Waiting an hour after the sun sets will only put the planets closer to the horizon, making them more difficult to spot. They will set around 6:45.
5. If you miss it, you have another chance.
The Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, will host a program beginning at 7 p.m. ET, showcasing live views through its telescopes. The stream will be on the observatory’s YouTube page.