Christmas Star shines over the mountains

Jupiter, left, and Saturn draw near to each other to form a “Christmas star” as they set over Ruby Peak at about 5:45 p.m. on the winter solstice, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. The apparent proximity of the two planets, which were really 456 million miles apart, is also called “The Great Conjunction” because they line up with Earth in their respective orbits. This year’s conjunction is first time since 1623 that the two huge planets have appeared this close to one another in our sky — and nearly 800 years since this very close conjunction was visible at night.

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