An image taken from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles shows Jupiter and Saturn in the sky on Dec. 21, 2020 during the “Great Conjunction” event. (Image credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

An awe-inspiring celestial event unfolded on the night of December 21, 2020, as an amateur astro-photographer skillfully captured the “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn. In this stunning image, the two giant planets, seemingly just a hair’s breadth apart, appeared in perfect alignment, creating a breathtaking sight in the night sky. The conjunction, commonly referred to as the Christmas Star, presented Jupiter and Saturn as a single, brilliant point of light to the naked eye. However, when viewed through a telescope, the magnificence of the two planets and their moons became evident.

The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn thru Ed Piotrowski. Stacked many images for more clarity and color. Nexstar Celestron 6SE with Nikon D750 attached

Despite their apparent proximity, the Great Conjunction did not involve a physical overlap of Jupiter and Saturn. In reality, they were approximately 0.1 degrees apart, still providing a captivating display for Earth’s inhabitants. In the photograph, Saturn’s striking rings and Jupiter’s four largest moons—Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto—were all discernible. The image, taken with a consumer telescope and a Nikon D750 camera, reveals the astounding progress in astronomical observations since the time of Galileo Galilei and Christiaan Huygens, who first spotted Jupiter’s moons and Saturn’s moon Titan, respectively.

The celestial dance of Jupiter and Saturn during the Great Conjunction, despite their vast distances from Earth, showcased an extraordinary alignment, with Jupiter aligning almost perfectly between Earth and Saturn. From a different vantage point, such as Jupiter or Saturn, the conjunction would have presented a different perspective altogether. This captivating event not only offers us a glimpse of the wonders of our solar system but also serves as a reminder of humanity’s ongoing quest to explore and understand the cosmos.

Enjoy more Saturn and Jupiter Conjunction

#1

Taken with a 6″ Dobsonian reflector telescope and a SV105 CMOS sensor on December 21st, Image was stacked and processed using PIPP, Registax 6, Autostakkert 3! and Adobe Photoshop. Galilean moons Ganymede and Io are left of Jupiter, and Europa right of Jupiter. Saturn’s moon Titan is located top right of Saturn. Image Credit: KSPFanatic102

#2

It was cloudy the whole afternoon until sunset, and then magic happened. Really glad that I was able to witness and capture the moment, as I would be exactly 100-year-old the next time the two gas giants get this close. This is a composite image of two sets of R,G,B mono images with different exposures, one for Jupiter, and one for Saturn and the two Galilean Moons. 500 of 1000 frames stacked and wavelet adjustment with Registax, combined and processed with Photoshop. Image credit: Michael Teoh

#3

Telescope: Vixen 70mm f/10 Refractor •Camera: Canon 700D (eyepiece projection method using 9mm Plossl). Under Bortle 8 Sky, Lahore-Pakistan. By ali1919

#4

Telescope: Vixen 70mm f/10 Refractor •Camera: Canon 700D (eyepiece projection method using 9mm Plossl). Under Bortle 8 Sky, Lahore-Pakistan. By ali1919

#5

Telescope: Vixen 70mm f/10 Refractor •Camera: Canon 700D (eyepiece projection method using 9mm Plossl). Under Bortle 8 Sky, Lahore-Pakistan. By ali1919

#6

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