The sky over the northern hemisphere witnesses a once-in-a-lifetime light show as the two largest planets in the solar system approach as if they meet in a celestial event that astronomers call “the great coupling.”
The phenomenon is witnessing an almost complete convergence between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, and this coincides with the winter solstice on Monday, which is the shortest day of the year.
These conditions will bring the two planets closer and brighter than at any time in 800 years, assuming the sky is clear.
The two planets’ conjunctions occur about once every 20 years, but the last time Jupiter and Saturn approached this way was in 1623, and the conjunction was not visible from most of Earth.
The last major conjunction visible long before the telescopes occurred in 1226, during the construction of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Barre in the French capital.