Winter Solstice Great conjunction: Google Doodle celebrates winter solstice and the ‘great conjunction’
NEW DELHI: Google on Monday celebrated the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn with a doodle, in collaboration with Nasa.
December 21 marks the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, but in 2020 the longest night of the year is also going to be a witness to an incredible astronomic event known as the “great conjunction”.
“As Earth’s Northern Hemisphere hunkers down for winter and its longest night of the year, it seems Jupiter and Saturn have decided to put on quite an unusual show for the world to see,” wrote Google.
The two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will nearly overlap to form a “double planet,” an event that hasn’t been easily visible since the Middle Ages—almost 800 years ago.
This rare double planet sighting–or “Great Conjunction”–can be viewed from anywhere around the globe.
Based on their orbits, from our vantage point on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn will cross within .1 degrees of each other (a fraction of the width of the full moon).
This once-in-a-lifetime rendezvous has been recreated in the Doodle artwork where we see an animated Saturn high-five Jupiter as it goes along its orbit.
While the two planets will appear to be close but in reality the two gas giants will actually remain a vast distance of approximately 450 million miles apart.
If you are interested in watching the “Great Conjunction” on the longest night of the year, find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park.
An hour after sunset, Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible in the southwestern sky. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
You can also use binoculars, but the planets can still be seen with the unaided eye.
In Video: Great conjunction 2020: After 367 years, Jupiter, Saturn to come close on Dec 21
Great Conjunction: When, where and how to watch Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in India
Image Source : NASA Great Conjunction: When, where and how to watch Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in India
This year’s winter solstice will bring a rare sight to our night skies. In a rare celestial event, Saturn and Jupiter – the two largest planets in our solar system – will be seen very close to each other in the night sky like one bright star by an astronomical event called the “great conjunction” on December 21.
This is a rare conjunction because of the closeness of the two planets, which is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. The two planets have never been so close since 1623.
When, where and how to watch Jupiter-Saturn ‘Great Conjunction’ in India
The great conjugation will be seen on December 21. The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bengaluru has made arrangements to watch the celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn planets on Monday between 6.30-7.30 p.m., an official said on Sunday.
“We have set up telescopes in our premises to watch the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Monday evening if weather conditions permit,” said the planetarium official in a statement here.
Due to the Covid-induced restrictions on people gathering in large numbers in public places, those who register online to watch the celestial event will be allowed in the planetarium in batches of limited numbers to maintain social distancing.
“Those unable to watch the event at the planetarium due to curbs on crowding, can see the conjunction of the two stars online at our website (www.taralaya.org) or Facebook and Youtube channel,” said the statement.
As the fifth planet from the sun, Jupiter is the largest in the solar system, as a gas giant with a mass one-thousandth of the Sun.
“As the sixth planet from the sun and second largest in the solar system, Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius of nine times that of earth,” added the official.
The conjunction also coincides with the longest day (December 21) in the year as the sun reaches a point where it appears to shine farthest to the south of equator over the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the start of the winter solstice.
(With IANS Inputs)
Google Doodle celebrates winter solstice and The Great Conjunction with animated graphic
Google doodle celebrated Winter 2020 and The Great Conjunction with an animated graphic on December 21. The Great Conjunction, a visual overlap of Saturn and Jupiter in the night sky, is a rare phenomenon that the world will witness today.
WHAT DOES TODAY’S GOOGLE DOODLE SIGNIFY?
Today’s animated Google Doodle is in celebration of the winter solstice and The Great Conjunction. The graphic “celebrates the Northern Hemisphere’s first day of winter as well as this rare double planet sighting-or Great Conjunction-which can be viewed from anywhere around the globe,” Google Doodle said on its page.
WHAT DOES DECEMBER 21 MARK?
December 21 marks the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the longest night of 2020.
WHAT IS THE GREAT CONJUNCTION?
The Great Conjunction is a rare astronomic event that will occur tonight. Saturn and Jupiter, the two largest planets in our solar system, will nearly overlap to form a “double planet,” an event that hasn’t been visible since the Middle Ages-almost 800 years ago.
The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 - 13 years after Galileo built his first telescope and discovered four new ‘stars’ orbiting the Jupiter.
NASA states that “the two planets will appear just a tenth of a degree apart”. This celestial event will not happen again in the next 60 years, that is, until 2080.
HOW TO SEE THE GREAT CONJUNCTION?
On its page, Google Doodle described the process as it said, “Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. An hour after sunset, Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible in the southwestern sky. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky. Feel free to use binoculars, but the planets can still be seen with the unaided eye.”
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