Align with the cosmos this Christmas, and prepare to catch sight of a 'star' that hasn't been visible to earth since the literal middle ages in 1266. What is being called Christmas Star is apparently a very rare astronomical occurrence in which Jupiter and Saturn move close together, forming a light that shines so bright we can see it from our measly planet. In astrology, it's called the Grand Conjunction and we have a whole guide on what this means for you and our year ahead
NASA has said that the Christmas Star won't be visible again until 2080, which most of us (no offence) wont be around for. Meaning, if you give a toot about the solar system, this may not be one to miss. The once in a lifetime occurrence will take place on December 21, just after the sun sets, and can be seen upon looking west. It is said this bright baby will be visible to the naked eye, but of course if you're a cosmic enthusiast, binoculars or a telescope won't go astray.
“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another,” said Patrick Hartigan from Rice University, Texas in a statement. “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.”
“On the evening of closest approach on Dec 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan continued. “For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening.” Which is pretty darn cool, if you ask me.
While we wait for this occurrence to bless us with its presence, it's time to get aligned with the cosmos in other aspects of life. It's been a big year for celestial events, and this intense and once-in-a-lifetime event rounds out what has been a rather astrologically chaotic year.
Lot's of planetary happenings in December, so gird your loins, it's going to be a big one.