Do not take your eyes off the sky tonight

“Tonight (Monday, January 1) after sunset, we will see the closest comparison of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in the last 400 years,” said an expert at the Ava Star Astronomy Center. This event will not happen for the next 60 years.

Dara Teymourifar said: “In recent months, Jupiter and Saturn have been shining brightly in the sky since sunset, but these planets are actually millions of kilometers apart and can only be seen side by side, which is called We call it a comparison.

He continued: “Considering the movements of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn in their orbits, the apparent distance of these two planets has been reduced and will be minimized on the first of December this year (December 21).”

A member of the editorial staff of Ava Star stated that this phenomenon occurs almost once every 20 years; But its location in the sky and the distance between Jupiter and Saturn are different. Previously, in June 2000, Jupiter and Saturn reached a distance of approximately 1 degree. But due to their proximity to the sun, this phenomenon was almost invisible.

Teymourifar added: “An important feature of this year’s comparison is the apparent distance between the two planets.” The minimum apparent distance from Jupiter and Saturn is about 6 arc minutes (one-fifth the apparent diameter of the full moon), last occurring in 1623, about 400 years ago.

He stated: The angular separation of the two planets in the comparison that took place in 1226 AD was less than half of this year’s comparison; Hence, this year’s comparison is comparable to the 1623 comparison, and we will see the closest comparison in the last 400 years.

The amateur astronomer noted: “Compared to this year, the distance between these two planets from the sun is about 30 degrees.

Teymourianfar continued: “It means that an hour after sunset we have the opportunity to watch and photograph this landscape.” This comparison can be seen from all over Iran. Of course, it is very difficult to separate Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye, and observation tools will most likely be needed.

He reminded: Due to the very low height of these ٢ objects, the southwest horizon of the observation point should be completely open and free of dust and pollution; Of course, provided that the weather conditions are suitable and we have a clear sky.

He emphasized: “A situation similar to this year’s comparison will not happen until 1458 (2080 AD) and maybe future generations will be able to watch that phenomenon.”