What Do Astronomers Call This Alignment?

Discover the awe-inspiring phenomenon astronomers call the Great Conjunction, a rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky. Learn about its historical significance and future predictions.

The Great Conjunction

One of the most anticipated astronomical events is the alignment of two celestial bodies in the sky. When two planets or other objects appear close to each other in the night sky, astronomers refer to this phenomenon as a conjunction. However, there is a special type of conjunction that captures the attention of stargazers around the world – the great conjunction.

What is a Great Conjunction?

A great conjunction occurs when the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, align in the sky. This rare event takes place roughly every 20 years due to the different orbital periods of these two gas giants. When Jupiter and Saturn come together in the night sky, they create a mesmerizing sight that has inspired wonder and curiosity for centuries.

Historical Significance

The great conjunction holds special significance in many cultures and has been associated with various myths and prophecies. In ancient times, these alignments were seen as omens or signs of change. For example, the famous conjunction in 7 BC is believed to be the event known as the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Three Wise Men to the birth of Jesus.

Recent Events

In December 2020, stargazers around the world were treated to a spectacular sight as Jupiter and Saturn came closest in their great conjunction since 1623. This event, known as the Great Conjunction of 2020, drew crowds of amateur astronomers and skywatchers who marveled at the sight of the two planets shining brightly in the night sky.

Future Alignments

While the Great Conjunction of 2020 was a once-in-a-lifetime event for many, astronomers are already looking forward to the next great conjunction in 2040. This future alignment will once again bring Jupiter and Saturn close together in the sky, offering stargazers another opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring celestial event.


The great conjunction is a rare and remarkable alignment of two of the largest planets in our solar system. Whether viewed through a telescope or with the naked eye, this celestial event never fails to captivate and inspire those who gaze upon it. As we look to the future, the great conjunction serves as a reminder of the beauty and wonder of the universe that surrounds us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *