Jupiter and Saturn

The two largest planets in the solar system are about to appear quite close. You can see them in the southwestern sky after sunset edging near the zodiacal constellation Capricornus. Jupiter is the brighter of the two and it is moving closer to Saturn.

On Dec. 21 the two will be so close as to appear almost one, separable in binoculars. Astronomers are calling this the best conjunction in years. The last time they appeared so close was 397 years ago.
The only trouble with seeing the two is that it will be for a short time each night. They are so close to the horizon, they set pretty early in the evening.

We’ve been watching these two planets getting closer for a year. Being the largest and most distant, this takes a while. But the most dramatic part comes in December, when every night offers an observable difference.

Saturn is the farthest at 986 million miles and Jupiter is 530 million miles away. 

Sunrise and Sunset
Day Sunrise Sunset
Fri., Nov. 27 6:44 4:13
Sat., Nov. 28 6:45 4:13
Sun., Nov. 29 6:46 4:12
Mon., Nov. 30 6:47 4:12
Tues., Dec. 1 6:48 4:12
Wed., Dec. 2 6:49 4:11
Thurs., Dec. 3 6:50 4:11
Fri., Dec. 4 6:51 4:11

Temperatures and Precipitations
Day Max (Fº) Min (Fº) Inches
Nov. 20 59 33 0.00
Nov. 21 62 49 0.00
Nov. 22 65 45 0.00
Nov. 23 59 48 0.00
Nov. 24 60 37 0.68
Nov. 25 47 31 T

 

Water temperature in Edgartown harbor: 51º F

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