Christmas Star Is A Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

For the first time in 800 years, Jupiter and Saturn will make a splash in the night sky on Dec. 21.


Neida Delcid, Writer-East

Just in time for Christmas, a star is born.

This coming Monday, Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest they’ve ever been in 800 years! As a result, the biggest planets in the solar system are about to generate a huge splash of light into the night sky, creating what scientists have dubbed as the “Christmas Star.” Although it is not exactly a star, it will surely appear like it. 

They will meet on the sky dome on Dec. 21–to the southwest, just above the horizon. For those having trouble viewing it, NASA will be live to air the event and explain the phenomenon on their YouTube page. However, those wanting to actually view it in person should go outside just after sunset and look up to the southwest. Telescopes are not required to observe it, but they would greatly enhance the view. 

“I’ve never heard of this great conjunction,” admits Andrea Arellano, an Elkhart-East sophomore. “But, now that I have, this will be a great thing to view, since it really is a special and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Even if people aren’t interested in space or astronomy, it’s an event won’t come around for another 800 years. Thus, it will be a “cool thing” to witness.

While the best viewing night will be on Dec. 21, this isn’t just a one-night event. The planets will actually move closer and closer together each night until the 21st. Knowing this, spectators can gradually watch them align in a sequence of events that will culminate into full splendor this Monday.

For some, this will be such an astonishing moment. “I am fascinated by space and astrology,” says Anna Maskill, a junior at Elkhart-East. “It’s cool because it doesn’t happen often and we get to experience it in our lifetime.” She goes on to say, “Anything to do with space is very special; it’s very unique. These kinds of things are more than just planets; they are pieces of history that other people have seen hundreds of years ago.” Maskill concludes, saying, “I believe it’s a historical and symbolic event.”

So, make some hot cocoa, get bundled up, and gaze into the night sky on Dec. 21. This Christmas Star is definitely something no one will want to miss. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event.