Sky provides spectacular sight Monday evening

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Not only is Monday night the longest night of the year because of the Winter Solstice, but something spectacular will happen in the sky – the Great Conjunction.

The Great Conjunction is Saturn and Jupiter coming into alignment with each other. While they align every 20 years, this year’s conjunction is extra special.

The two planets will be about 0.1° apart from one another in our night sky. That’s so close that you could block out both planets if you held your pinky finger an arm’s length away. To the naked eye, they will appear like a double planet or a super bright star. That’s how the conjunction got its nickname of the “Christmas Star” this year, for being extra bright and happening close to Christmas.

It has been 400 years since Jupiter and Saturn have passed this close to each other and 800 years since this event occurred at night.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime event you don’t want to miss, especially since we will have a clear sky for viewing! To see the Great Conjunction, look lower in the southwest sky about an hour after sunset around 5:30 p.m.

It will only be visible for a couple of hours. If you have a telescope or binoculars, break them out! With those aids, you should be able to see Jupiter’s 4 moons.

If you take any great pictures, send them to weather@wnky.com.