TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — Sky gazers are being treated to a sight that hasn’t been seen for centuries.
The great conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn marks the closest the planets have been to each other since 1623.
“Then they were so close to the sun, most people probably didn’t see them,” said NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins. “Which means if you want to go back to the last time they were seen, you've got to go a few hundred years before that.”
Here in 2020, the planets are not that close to the sun. Now, people on earth can see the phenomenon with the naked eye right after sunset.
“It’s something no one alive today has ever seen,” Wiggins said. “It’s a neat event.”
The next time this astronomical event will occur will be in the year 2080. That means most adults will not see it happen again in their lifetime.
For the children of today, this conjunction is offering a chance to make a memory to share with future generations.
“Do something like write in a journal or draw a picture,” Wiggins said. “Then 60 years from now, they can pull out this yellow, tattered piece of paper and say, ‘Look what I did back in 2020. That was an awful year for many reasons, but we did get to see this.’”
The conjunction will be visible for the next several nights, but the planets will not be as close together as they were on Monday.