Will I need a telescope to see the great conjunction this December?
I’m in USA-Florida. What time should I step outside? Do I need a telescope? How long will it last? And finally, do I need to go to an area with little light pollution or can I watch this from my house?
How do I know which direction to look? Do I just look at the moon?
- BobLv 72 months ago
The conjunction is when Jupiter and Saturn will appear very close to each other in the night sky - a telescope would give you details on both planets, but you can see them without any aid.
They will appear close to each other for at least a week before and after Dec 21, not something you "watch" like an eclipse or a transit.
If you can see Jupiter or Saturn in the sky any night, you can see the conjunction.
- daniel gLv 72 months ago
They will be like points of light without a scope, like covering them with your thumbnail at arms length.
You can see them now on a clear night after sunset, just look to the west and south, the two bright star looking things,,that is them. Getting closer by the day to Dec 21, they will appear closest.
Just happens to be the winter solstice also.
- Bill-MLv 72 months ago
You will not need a Telescope. But you will need to be out in the country away from city lights and on a Clear night. Just after Sunset Look for Jupiter, It will be very bright.
- ?Lv 72 months ago
No. Telescopes?are often a disadvantage because of the small field of view. Steady binoculars may be better. That does NOT mean you should not use?a telescope, but Jupiter and Saturn are easy naked eye objects.
Look west or southwest after sunset. Conjunctions take place over days. They are not like solar eclipses which take place quickly.
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- cosmoLv 72 months ago
It's Saturn and Jupiter --- both traditional naked-eye planets known for thousands of years before the invention of the telescope. The Moon will be in the general vicinity as well. You will need a clear sky, the darker the better. Just after evening twilight.
There's a particular instant where they're closest together, but basically it goes on for months, in fact they are already pretty close and you could look tonight, or any night between now and early next year.
The conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter is not nearly as impressive as the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus, and maybe Mars and Mercury that happen much more often. The unusual thing about this conjunction is that both Saturn and Jupiter have long orbital periods, and so Jupiter doesn't pass by Saturn very often.