From time to time we get a chance to see something in our lifetime that we probably won’t see again. Have you ever seen a “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem”?
That is the name given to the situation when the planets Jupiter and Saturn will line up. The two planets haven’t appeared this close together from our vantage point on Earth since the Middle Ages. You have to go all the way back to March 4th, 1226 to see a closer alignment between these to objects in the night sky. This upcoming arrangement is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another, Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for first time in 794 years.
How do you see the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem”? Point your eyes or telescopes to the southwest portion of the sky about 45 minutes after sunset on Monday, December 21st (the first day of winter) to see the planets. Sunset time in Grand Rapids for December 21st is at 5:11 pm. The two planets are going to almost appear to collide and become one super-bright point of light. If you miss it on Monday, sightings can be seen throughout that week. Here in Michigan, we have to hope for clear skies.
If you miss the event this year, we won’t have to wait another 800 years. Another star-sighting of this magnitude will occur again in 2080.
I hope we get a chance to see this. Of all the years we could use a little hope and a bright star in our lives — it is 2020. Plus, I doubt I’ll be around in 60 years to see the next time something like this happens.
Casey Kasem always would say “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars” on his American Top 40 Countdown (heard every Sunday from 8 am-12 Noon and 8 pm-Midnight on 98.7 WFGR). Let’s change that just a bit to “keep your feet on the ground and keep looking for the stars”.