Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

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Press Release: Workshop - ‘Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn’ | December 15, 2020 at 10:30 am

 

We will witness a very special astronomical event on December 21, 2020 at around 11:50 pm IST. The giant planets Jupiter and Saturn will be almost in the same line of sight appearing very close to one another.  Astronomically speaking, they will have an angular separation of 0.1 degree or 6 minutes and 6 seconds in angular measure.

 

The phenomena involving two solar system objects like Sun, Moon and Planets appearing close to the ‘ecliptic’ or ‘the apparent path of Sun in the sky’, while from Earth they appear to have a very small angular separation, is termed as a ‘Conjugation’. Since this year it will involve two giant planets brightly visible in our night sky, namely Jupiter and Saturn, it is termed as a ‘Great Conjunction’ in the popular media. The last time similar event involving Jupiter and Saturn occurred was when the angular separation between them approached about5 minutes 10 seconds of angular measure on 16 July, 1623.

 

The reason for the Jupiter – Saturn conjunction is as follows. The orbital period of Jupiter is 11.86 years and that of Saturn is 29.5 years. The combined effect of their travel around the Sun is that great conjunction takes place periodically in about 19 years and 7 months.  However, the separation between the two varies from one conjunction to the other depending on the orbital positions.

 

Astronomy enthusiasts try to measure the angular separation between the objects involved in conjugation using different methods. One such method is by using Crosstaff. A contest supported by Astronomical Society of India involving many likeminded institutions and planetariums including RSCP Calicut, titled ‘Samanta Chandrashekar Challenge’ involves recording and reporting the angular separation values on daily basis. 

 

RSC & Planetarium Calicut will organize a workshop on ‘Development of Crosstaff and using related measurement techniques” on December 15, 2020 at 10:30 am. Interested people may register for the same using the link: shorturl.at/sEGR8

 

Further, on December 21, 2020 RSC & Planetarium Calicut will organize a observation session using its telescopes from 06:30 pm onwards. Jupiter and Saturn sets at about 8:20 pm from Kozhikode sky. The event will be organised following the COVID SOP prescribed by GoI. 

RSC & Planetarium Calicut will organize a workshop on ‘Development of Crosstaff and using related measurement techniques” on December 15, 2020 at 10:30 am. Interested people may register for the same using the link: shorturl.at/sEGR8 Further, on December 21, 2020 RSC & Planetarium Calicut will organize a observation session using its telescopes from 11:00 pm onwards. The event will be organised following the COVID SOP prescribed by GoI. 

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