Jupiter and Saturn prepare their epic show – 16 Dec. 2020

While waiting for their epic conjunction, Jupiter and Saturn are slowly approaching each other up there. Here we present a few images we did.

Jupiter and Saturn, about half-a-degree apart. 16 Dec. 2020.

Jupiter and Saturn, about half-a-degree apart. 16 Dec. 2020.

Over the past few days, I managed to get a few images of the couple, now that their angular distance is getting shorter and shorter.

Yesterday, I managed to capture them with our main telescope. The image above is a two-panels mosaic, with each image coming from a 0.3-seconds, blue filtered exposure, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The imaging scale is 0.63″/pixel. I had to make a mosaic as the two planets are still “too large” for my field of view to be captured in a single shot. They are so bright that I had to use a filter to strongly reduce their glare.

But I also used a Canon 5DmIV body and a 100-400mm lens + 1.4x extender, to get the image below.

Jupiter shows its principal, four satellites in this image, while pairing with Saturn.

Jupiter shows its principal, four satellites in this image, while pairing with Saturn.

Of course, the show is ongoing and we really hope the weather will cooperate on the 20-22 Dec. window: on 21 Dec. we will show this event live, online.

Below you can see a simulation, showing how the two giant, gas planets will show around the formal conjunction (21 Dec.)

Don’t miss this amazing event, just look up!

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