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Ladies and Gentlemen: The greatest show off Earth! Look Up. Now. Tonight.

Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn | December 21, 2020, Live Streamed at Griffith Observatory

On Monday, December 21, 2020, the Winter Solstice, planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear in the evening sky very close to each other, at about one-fifth of the Moon’s diameter apart. This close approach of the two planets is called a “great conjunction” and occurs when the independent movements of Jupiter and Saturn make them appear close together in the sky. This happens once every 20 years, but they have not been seen this close together since 1226 A.D.

If we have clear skies, this conjunction may be seen in the southwestern sky shortly after dark on December 21, and it should be visible from roughly 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Jupiter and Saturn will be very close together. Anyone will be able to see the pair with unaided eyes. No telescope or binoculars is required, but a magnified view through a Griffith Observatory telescope will be live streamed. You can also observe both planets and their moons through your own telescope.

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  • Gordon Scott December 21, 2020, 6:00 PM

    It’s cloudy. There’s a park about half a mile west where the land drops away to the southwest. It’s perfect for sledding and also for viewing a once-in-800-years planetary conjunction happening in the southwest sky, if it’s not cloudy.

  • Gordon Scott December 21, 2020, 6:02 PM

    So, like, thanks for the video link!

  • julie December 21, 2020, 6:38 PM

    Thanks for the reminder, Gerard. We dusted off the telescope that we usually with, and were able to find not only Jupiter and Saturn, but three of the moons, too. For a moment, then we lost it again. A moment was enough, for now.

  • julie December 21, 2020, 6:38 PM


  • Blackwing1 December 21, 2020, 7:35 PM

    From our back deck here in small town Wyoming it was visible just after sunset, about 20 degrees above the mountain ridge that forms our western horizon. We had typical WY weather (30 MPH winds with gusts to 50) but we’ve got a wall on the deck the mostly blocks it. We used binoculars, and then I got out the spotting scope and set it on the deck table, tracking with it as it dropped down.

    With the scope we could make out the disc of Jupiter and were able to see the slightly oblong shape of Saturn caused by the rings.

    Like the total eclipse for which we traveled to Grand Isle, NE to see, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Well worth getting cold in the wind.

  • Casey Klahn December 21, 2020, 8:18 PM

    In spite of a foggy daytime and predicted cloudiness, the sky cleared quit well enough for me to observe this through my binoculars.

    Peace on Earth to all men of good will. All others, please stand by.

  • H (science denier) December 22, 2020, 4:50 AM

    Got the Kowa out and we had a good lookit the conjunction, the Moon and Mars.

    Now Mrs. is talking about getting an honest to God celestial telescope. I’ve created a monster.

  • Monty James December 22, 2020, 5:51 AM

    Overcast where I was, darnit.

  • Gordon Scott December 22, 2020, 7:06 AM

    Here’s a happy thought for the day. I live in the city. There are people here and there who keep chickens; Minneapolis allows this. But you do have to get your neighbors to sign off if you want a rooster.

    I’m not one of these people. I would like to be, but my wife grew up on a farm, and has unpleasant memories of chickens. Me, I think sitting outside in the evening, the hens softly buck-awwww-ing around my feet, is very, very relaxing.

    And then there’s the eggs. I really, really love fresh eggs. I’ll paw through the cartons at the grocery store, looking for the latest “best buy” date. I know eggs actually keep for 90 days or longer, but I want them two weeks or younger. You can tell when you crack them into the pan; fresh eggs don’t have the whites spread wide, but stay compact.

    And farm eggs taste better. Not battery eggs, where the hens live in cages and the eggs roll down a wire slope. But walk around in the sunlight, eating bugs and whatever else they can find besides the cracked corn they’re fed. Note to gardeners: if you want the greatest compost ever, let the hens work through your pile. It will be aerated, valuable high-nitrogen solids are added, and there will not be a single seed in the pile.

    Those kind of eggs are wonderfully delicious. The yolks are dark orange. One sort of hates to scramble them, they’re so pretty. And now, I have a source for eggs like that. She’s 30 or so, and lives in Nordeast Minneapolis. It’s about a 15 minute drive from my house. Her parents own a farm, and struggle as all family farmers do.

    She brings eggs, 20 or 30 dozen at a time, from the farm and advertises them on Craigslist. The money she makes goes back to her parents. And get this: she charges $3 per dozen! Grocery store eggs that claim to be organic and free range go for $4 or $5 per dozen. They are not nearly as tasty, nor as fresh.

    I pay her $5 per dozen, and she gushes with gratitude, explaining how hard her parents work. My wife tells her that she knows exactly how hard having grown up on one, and tells her to take the money with our thanks.

    Yes, we buy and eat artisanal eggs, and pay artisanal prices. A loud raspberry to all who mock. You don’t know what you’re missing.

  • Aggie December 22, 2020, 7:42 AM

    We were out to eat last night around 18:00 and saw it when we stepped out of the car, even with the city lights’ backscatter. They were very close together. We inadvertently emptied the waiting area, both guests and reservation hostesses, when we casually mentioned it as I checked in. Everybody went out to the parking lot to have us point it out. Pretty neat; they were less than an arm’s length pencil-width apart, about 30° off horizon, southwestern sky Last night was the closest, but the proximity from our vantage point will still be there a while, I think.

  • Sam L. December 22, 2020, 7:53 AM


  • ghostsniper December 22, 2020, 11:13 AM

    We live in a vertical tunnel of trees, now, no leaves. Even so, if it ain’t directly overhead it can’t be seen.

  • PA Cat December 22, 2020, 12:55 PM

    Overcast as usual for New England this time of year, so I looked around last night for a video feed of the conjunction and came across the very same link to the Griffith Observatory that Gerard so kindly posted here. Watched it from the moment the commentary began (7:30 p.m. EST)– really enjoyed the stream not only for its visual beauty but also for the pleasant and unobtrusive background music. I particularly liked the fact that the astronomers’ comments were only occasional, brief, and to the point– they obviously wanted viewers to focus on the conjunction rather than verbal chitchat. If only all so-called “experts” were so modest.

  • Andrew R December 22, 2020, 1:07 PM

    I live far enough south of Chicago that the city lights are just an orangy-yellow glow in the north.
    But dang it, every time there’s something interesting going on up there the clouds move in. I guess I used up my luck this year when I went further south into the country and found Comet Neowise. sigh.

  • Bob Dwyer December 22, 2020, 4:53 PM

    Missed it by that much.

  • Auntie Analogue December 22, 2020, 7:50 PM

    My neighbor stared at it so long that it gave his eyes conjunctionivitis.