HOW TO SPOT THE CHRISTMAS STAR
While The Great Conjunction takes places tomorrow, Jupiter and Saturn will be close in the sky in the days immediately before and after the event.
To see the Conjunction, look south-west as soon as the sun sets and find the brightest thing you can see.
Because the timing coincides with the winter solstice, sunset will be early. Jupiter and Saturn will be very low in the sky and will set quickly, so make sure you have a good view of the western horizon to catch them.
The darker the area, the clearer the sky, so if you live in a busy, urban area, try driving out somewhere a little quieter.
If you have a pair of binoculars to hand, the two planets will be visible separately. Saturn will be above and to the left of Jupiter.
If your binoculars are powerful enough – we’re talking a minimum magnification of seven here – you may even catch a glimpse of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons. Callisto and Ganymede will be on Jupiter’s left, while on its right (much closer to the planet) you’ll see Io and Europa.
For stargazers with a telescope, the view will be pretty special and something you won’t see again: Saturn with its rings and some of its moons, along with Jupiter, its Great Red Spot and all its Galilean moons, all visible at once. At least that’s one good thing to come out of 2020.