The Great Conjunction! December 2020

There has been a lot of media coverage in recent weeks about The Great Conjunction when the planets Saturn and Jupiter were expected to come in alignment with the Earth within 0.1° on 21 December 2020. This type of conjunction happens once every 20 years, so it was a significant astronomical event and astronomers throughout the world have gone out to look for this event.


This event has a significance in religious texts too as it’s also known as the “Christmas star” or “Bethlehem star” since some Christian theologians believe that a bright light in the sky which led the Three Wise Men to the location of Jesus’s birth was, in fact, a Great Conjunction!

Several York Astronomical Society members have attempted to photograph the coming together of these planets in December 2020 but with limited success due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions for travel and the cloudy weather. However, one of our members, Martin Dawson has managed to take a couple of photos from his home on 20 December 2020 as shown below. Well done, MD!

Saturn Jupiter MD 2a

The last Great Conjunction took place on 31 December 1980 and the next one is expected to take place on 2 November 2040. If you have managed to take any photos of the Great Conjunction, please let us know and feel free to share the link in the comments below.

Ref: The December 2020 Great Conjunction

Related: Jupiter and Saturn descend on world’s tallest building in epic ‘Great Conjunction’ video (

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