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Monday night will be a good night for Winneshiek County residents to do some skygazing

Posted: Sun, Dec 20, 2020 1:20 PM

A rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that will make them look like a single point of light in the sky will happen Monday night.

The planet Jupiter is the brightest object in the sky after the sun, the moon and Venus.  Jupiter will be crossing paths with Saturn, which is just slightly dimmer.

The event is known as "a great conjunction."  It happens every 20 years, but not just before Christmas and not so visible on Earth. It's been 400 years since Jupiter and Saturn last passed as close to each other as they will Monday night and back in 1623 the passing was lost in the sun's glare. The last time they were this close and people could see them was the year 1226.

The best view of the two planets will come by looking southwest just after sunset.