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Near Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

Colin called me just a few minutes ago, saying that through the windshield of his car, he had a beautiful view of the near conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. At the actual moment of official “conjunction” just a few days from now (on Monday, December 21st), Jupiter and Saturn will not appear to be a whole lot closer. Knowing what we know about the clouds in Maine, now would be a great time to see them in this near conjunction.

Look in the southwestern sky. The brightest object is Jupiter. Just up and left of it, the next brightest object is Saturn. This is beautiful to the naked eye, and it also fits easily into the field of view of any binocular, or even into the eyepiece of a telescope.

If you happen to see this email too late for tonight, try again on any clear night over the next week. Conjunctions occur in slow motion. The exact, theoretical conjunction may occur at a single moment, but the view is much the same over a more forgiving period.

As a special bonus, during the actual conjunction, there are many transits and shadow transits across Jupiter, of both moons and the Great Red Spot. Check your favorite planetarium program for details!

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