What & When?

When to see the first ‘Christmas Star’ in nearly 800 years


Christmas Star

On Monday 21st December (the Winter solstice), Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they will appear to collide. What will actually happen is they will be so close that they will create a radiant point of light to resemble the Christmas Star or the Star of Bethlehem!

The alignment of these two planets is so rare that the last time it happened was just before dawn on 4th March 1226 i.e. 794 years ago!

To catch a glimpse of this rare phenomenon, you must look towards the southwest on Monday 21st December about 45 minutes after sunset. Sunset in the south east Cotswolds area is scheduled for 15.59, so look at anytime roughly between 4pm and 4.45pm. However, the ‘Christmas Star’ will be visible from anywhere on Earth for about one hour after sunset in the northern hemisphere for the entire fourth week of December.

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