The Wyoming weather has given us a less than opportune night sky, so viewing the Great Conjuncture of planets between Jupiter and Saturn is virtually impossible this evening (Monday, December 21st, 2020). There is still good news.

You can still view, what for most adults will be a once in lifetime event, via live stream. There are two different YouTube channels, the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona (shown above) and the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California (shown below), streaming the event live and both have a clear sky view from powerful telescopes.

The other good news is even though our cloudy skies are hiding the event from us this evening, it will be still be visible for the next couple of days.

Jupiter and Saturn conjunctions happen every twenty years, but this will be the closest they've ever been since 1623. NASA has some pretty awesome information in a more detailed form here.

NASA also suggests for viewing the phenomenon yourself:

  • Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
  • An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. 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.
  • The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.

Here's to hoping that the clouds subside so Wyomingites can see it firsthand tomorrow.

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