By Mario Lotmore | Lynnwood Times Staff

On Monday evening, December 21, the gas giants of our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will appear the closest since July 16, 1623, according to NASA.  It will be interesting how the pair will appear in the night sky with only a gap of 0.6 degrees between each other – an elongated star, a double planet, or neither.

The “Christmas Star,” some are calling it, will be seen in the southwestern sky with the naked eye.  However, binoculars or telescopes will enhance the viewing, making Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons more visible.

Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years but what makes this one special or great is the frequency of this occurrence being the closest since 1623 and the closet observable since March 5, 1226. The “Great Conjunction” happens on the same day as the Winter Solstice, considered to be the start of the astrological New Year, since it’s the moment when each day starts to have more light – from dark to light.

If you miss this rare rendezvous, it won’t be this close or this visible again until March 15, 2080.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s free community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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