Get ready to mark your calendar!

On December 21, 2020, a RARE “CHRISTMAS STAR will appear in the sky for the first time in 800 years.  A rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will make them look like a single point of light in the sky.  Four days before Christmas, the sky will offer a sight that hasn’t been seen since the middle ages.  The two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will be so close to one another in the sky on Dec. 21 that they will appear to be fused into a single point of light.

The Addison Skyway Marina is excited for the Christmas Star appearance as the last time this is believed to have been witnessed was in the year 1226, according to Michael Shanahan, the director of the Liberty Science Center Planetarium in New Jersey. “The interesting thing about these long cycles in astronomy is that they come back at very different epochs of human history.  “The event that happened in the Middle Ages in 1226 occurred before dawn, so there was about an hour and a half before the sun rose to see it.” 

TIPS for the best way to view the rare planetary alignment on Dec. 21, which is the winter solstice, meaning it’s the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere.  Make sure you have a view to the southwest unobstructed by trees or buildings for a little over an hour after sunset. Viewers will also have to hope for clear weather on that night as well. For more details click here.

You don’t want to miss it, as Jupiter and Saturn will not appear this close in the sky again until 2080, according to NASA.