‘Christmas Star’: Jupiter and Saturn to align in rare phenomenon for first time since Middle Ages

Santa and his reindeer fly across the night's sky. (Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay.)

HOUSTON – Houstonians and the rest of the Earth may want to look up into the night sky on Friday, Dec. 18.

This upcoming winter solstice, the Earth will witness a sky-high event not seen in over 800 years, as planets Jupiter and Saturn will line up and appear to collide to create what is called a “Christmas Star” or “the Star of Bethlehem,” Forbes reported.

Rice University Astronomer Patrick Hartigan told Forbes March 4, 1226 was the last time Earth has seen an alignment between two planets visible in the night sky.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another,” he told Forbes in an interview.

The rare event begin around 45 minutes after sunset and sightings will last throughout the entire week, Forbes reported. Astronomers say all you need is a clear view of the southwest.


About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.