The phenomenon happens every 20 years, but the planets Jupiter and Saturn were not so close since 1623. Such a combination will already happen this Monday and will be visible from the Azores, guarantees the Santana Astronomical Observatory – Azores (OASA) .
It will be possible to observe the phenomenon with a telescope, “play” binoculars and even the “naked eye”.
It may be possible to see the conjugation of Jupiter and Saturn with the “naked eye”
As Christmas approaches, and on the day of the winter solstice, this alignment is of particular relevance, since there are those who compare it with the star who guided the Reis Magos. To observe such a phenomenon, the ideal would be to use a telescope, but “with the naked eye” and “in a sky with very little light pollution and on a night with good weather conditions, it will be possible to see the two planets so close together that it will look like just one” , reveals Pedro Garcia, communication technician at OASA.
Also binoculars, which “can even be playful”, can help. "If the binoculars are any size, 50 × 70, they will already be able to see Jupiter's moons and realize that Saturn has 'ears', which are the rings", guarantees the technician.
20 years ago, in 2000, “these two planets were very close, to the point that we were able to put a little finger between the two, which is more or less a degree in the sky. This time, if we put a little finger, we will be able to cover the two planets, which means that it is really, really, very close ”.
In the face of the pandemic, OASA will not open doors, due to the restrictions imposed. However, the person in charge leaves some suggestions for those who want to observe the alignment. The phenomenon happens around 17:30 in the Azores (18:30 in mainland Portugal), but Pedro Garcia advises to start following the phenomenon from 15:30 (16:30 in Lisbon). "Starting at 7 pm, objects (planets) will be touching the horizon and will disappear throughout the night".
As for its position, “the object will be seen in the southwest. After the sun goes down, more or less in the same position ”, he adds.