Rare ‘Christmas Star’ will be visible over UK for first time in 800 years


Jupiter and Saturn are set to align in the night sky for the first time 800 years this Christmas.

The impressive alignment will take place in the western sky on December 21st for around an hour after sunset.

The planets will appear so close that they will look like a bright double point of light in the sky, for the first time since the middle ages.

However, in reality the planets will actually be the same distance the Earth is from the sun.


If you miss it you will have to wait until 2080 to see it again and if you miss that one you will only have to wait another 400 years when it will happen again in 2400.

Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University. said: “Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another.”

“You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”

Although the sight will be near the horizon, it will be bright enough to see in twilight.

All you need is an unobstructed view to the southwest, a clear patch of sky, and to look to the southwest from about 45 minutes after sunset where you are.

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