© 2021 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Science & Technology

PHOTOS: Great Conjunction Dazzles Stargazers Around The World

Planets Jupiter (left) and Saturn are seen during the Great Conjunction from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Planets Jupiter (left) and Saturn are seen during the Great Conjunction from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

On Monday evening, Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer to each other in the sky than they have for hundreds of years in what has become known as the Great Conjunction.

Stargazers around the world didn't pass up an opportunity to see a rare event in the night sky.

On Monday evening, Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer to each other than they have for hundreds of years, in what has become known as the Great Conjunction. Their proximity is the view from Earth. In space, the planets are hundreds of millions of miles apart.

Jupiter and Saturn's positions in the sky align "about once every 20 years," according to NASA, though almost never this closely.

"You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky," Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, said in a recent statement.

Photographers around the world captured images of the gas giants appearing to shift close together — and groups of people taking in the unique sight.

A family at the border crossing between Mexico and the U.S. in Ciudad Juarez uses a telescope to view Jupiter and Saturn during the Great Conjunction.
Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters
A family at the border crossing between Mexico and the U.S. in Ciudad Juarez uses a telescope to view Jupiter and Saturn during the Great Conjunction.
People waiting at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images
People waiting at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Jupiter and Saturn are seen coming together in the night sky, over the sails of Brill windmill in Brill, England.
Jim Dyson / Getty Images
Jupiter and Saturn are seen coming together in the night sky, over the sails of Brill windmill in Brill, England.
People stand in a queue to see the Great Conjunction at the Maidan area in Kolkata, India.
Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP via Getty Images
People stand in a queue to see the Great Conjunction at the Maidan area in Kolkata, India.
People watch the alignment in Edgerton, Kan.
Charlie Riedel / AP
People watch the alignment in Edgerton, Kan.
Jupiter, left, and Saturn appear about one-tenth of a degree apart. Here they are seen behind Christmas lights in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Jupiter, left, and Saturn appear about one-tenth of a degree apart. Here they are seen behind Christmas lights in Las Vegas.
Kuwaiti astrophotographers Mohammad al-Obaidi, right, and Abdullah al-Harbi follow the Great Conjunction in al-Salmi district, a desert area west of Kuwait City.
Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP via Getty Images
Kuwaiti astrophotographers Mohammad al-Obaidi, right, and Abdullah al-Harbi follow the Great Conjunction in al-Salmi district, a desert area west of Kuwait City.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.