Great Conjunction

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will line up to appear close together. The Great Conjunction happens once every 20 years.

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will line up to appear close together. The Great Conjunction happens once every 20 years.

November 10, 2020| Categories: Fairbanks Museum, Planetarium News, Programs and Events, StarGazing, What's Happening

December 21, 4:00 – 5:00PM

A live-stream celebration with Bobby Farlice-Rubio!

Once every twenty years, the two largest planets in the Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, come together in our view from the planet that we share, Earth. This event is called a Great Conjunction! On one special night this year, the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the two giant planets, visible to the naked eye as two bright star-like objects, will look closer together than they have since 1623.  They will appear to be nearly touching to our eyes, although Jupiter and Saturn will still be hundreds of millions miles apart from us and each other. Telescope users will be able to see both planets in the same field of view at the same time. The next close Great Conjunction like this will not occur until 2080!
Join Fairbanks Museum Science Educator Bobby Farlice-Rubio as he streams live images of Jupiter and Saturn from a 10” telescope for an hour during the Great Conjunction! Participants will see what Bobby sees, live! You can send questions to Bobby before and during the livestream, and he will attempt to answer them during the presentation. Follow along live in your own backyard, as you can bring our livestream anywhere where you can take a phone or tablet. Watch, Wonder, and Welcome in the Winter with us and this spectacular planetary encounter!
This all-ages event is free and open to the public. Just tune in to join us! All you need is to bundle up and step outside, and use your eyes to look up at the night sky. The more open your view, the better, especially to the south. If you have binoculars or a telescope, they will also help you pick out objects in the night sky, but if not, tuning into our live stream will give you an up-close look through our 10-inch telescope.
To learn more about this rare event, check out this article.
If you have young budding astronomers in your midst, ask what they know about Jupiter and Saturn.
Ask, when you hear the word “Saturn,” what do you think of? What do you know? Encourage them to draw a picture of Saturn and/or Jupiter, and ask about their features.
Explore Saturn in depth.
Explore Jupiter in depth.
Prepare some questions, and send them to us!
What are Saturn’s rings made of? Could there be life on any of Jupiter’s moons? Send us your burning questions about space, the solar system, and the two gas giants that are in the spotlight for the Great Conjunction. Email your questions in advance to kweiss@fairbanksmuseum.org. Or, tune in and you can ask your questions “live” in the comments section of the live stream. Educator Bobby Farlice-Rubio will be your guide for the event, exploring the night sky with you, answering questions and pointing out the most fascinating and unique aspects of this great planetary conjunction.
Send your questions for Bobby to answer during the Great Conjunction to Karina Weiss (kweiss@fairbanksmuseum.org) or call 802-748-2372.