Saturn & Jupiter Conjunction

If I can’t get out to activate I can at least get out of the street lights to see one of the best conjuctions of Saturn and Jupiter for years. On Dec 21st they will 0.01 degrees apart. The last time they were that close was 1623AD but they were also very close to the sun and difficult to observe. We have to go back to 1226AD for the last time they were < 0.1degress apart and visible in the night sky.

Well it’s a chilly 2.5C and I live on the Northern side of a hill. The planets were above my horizon but blocked by a neighbour’s house. I had to drive about 8miles to get up on to ground that was dropping to the Southern aspect to get a good view. I wasn’t going to miss the chance to check on them as it is essentially 7/8ths clear sky at present.

Saturn (dim) and Jupiter (bright) seen from the layby at the start of a path to The Covenanter’s Grave.

I have more photos but in my haste to set out whilst the sky was clear I forgot a torch so could not see how to make the camera go into manual focus or put it onto timer start. The result was even though it was on a tripod, at 500m effect zoom the focus is lacking and there is some shake. I’ll check how to get the camera set up better if I go out tomorrow for the true grand conjunction.


Andy please try to get a zoom of it… too much cloud here Thanks

That photo was taken at 235mm zoom (35m equiv). This is taken at 500mm zoom but you can see the focus is poor and there is camera shake.


Last Wednesday:

You can see two moons of Jupiter if you look closely



I saw them very well about 2 days ago from the work parking lot. They were to the right of the moon at that time. Now I’m trying to see them again but the sky is cloudy and I’m here waiting for a window to open in the clouds hopefully in the right direction, which I’m not very sure but I think they must be somewhere to the SouthWest from me.
If someone has an exact idea of where I can find them now from IN92CQ, I’ll be grateful.

Edit: changed SouthEast to SouthWest. Still too cloudy in that direction…


Nothing but clouds to see in the sky here… :confused:

I’ve seen them very well today with the help of a basic ESCHENBACH lens (6x16 140m/1000m) for about 10-15 minutes before a big cloud covered them. Saturn was about 45° to the upper right of Jupiter.
It’s cool being able to witness such a rare coincidence.


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Rain today so nothing visible. That was why as soon as I saw it was clear yesterday, I went out to get some photos even if I could not get the best photos.

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What I saw today is pretty much the same you saw yesterday, according to the posted photo, with the difference that Saturn was to the upper left of Jupiter and today it was to the upper right.
When I saw them from my work parking, Saturn was much more to the left of Jupiter than it was when you took your photo yesterday.
In your photo, Saturn is almost above Jupiter.
If you have a clear sky tomorrow or the following days, you will see Saturn getting further away to the upper right of Jupiter.
Good luck!


After a cloudy morning, the skies here near Atlanta Georgia cleared up during the afternoon and we could see the conjunction just after sunset. The observer could “split the double” with the naked eye, but binoculars made it even more impressive.

Glad I was able to see this one; I haven’t yet figured out how to be around for the next similarly close great conjunction in 2080.

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I had a great view of moon, Jupiter and Saturn a few days ago, just after sunset. Today at sunset and shortly afterwards, a thunderstorm was covering the sky. I didn’t think to take some photos when I could have! Darn it!

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Please don’t think I’m smart and have forwards planning and thinking in my nature. I took some photos because I’ve been “burnt” before waiting till the best moment to take photos only for something to stop me.

I have ticked off a number off astronomical events I read about in the early 70s as a child having waited patiently for them to come by. I got an astronomy book in 1974 and noted events such as near total eclipse of the Sun in the UK in 1999 & 2015 and the return of Halley’s Comet 1986. It seemed a long time to wait, 25 years and as just a teenager, 25 years is one hell of a wait. But things in that astronomy book have been anticipated and observed. I’ve observed plenty of conjunctions and occultations and Lunar eclipses, they’re ten a penny in comparison. This one was sweet with it being 1226AD since the last good visibility of such a conjunction. Of course the press has been wild with its “Star of Bethlehem” stories which makes a change from people mistaking Venus as the Star of Bethlehem should it happen to be in opposition in December. :wink:

I saw it off the California coast through a pair of binoculars.

Pretty impressive and just wished I’d had a telescope.


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HA ! Wouldn’t you know it, it was socked in foggy all night Sunday, all day and night Monday. Couldn’t even see the moon here !
And it’s still fogged in this morning (Tuesday).


I saw Halley’s comet through binoculars quite well. My photos, well they met a fate that many sky photos do, the processing lab cut the negatives right through the good bits, which were in the middle of the frame so they were pretty careless. They probably considered them unexposed.

I probably have those negatives so could now scan them to digital images and possibly reconstruct the frames. My negs are filed in the usual plastic dividers.

Our son was born a few weeks earlier so we held him up and told him to look in the sky, so he has seen it once. He will probably get to see the next flyby.

The idea of looking at the astronomical events schedule and preparing to take photos seems well organised. Why didn’t I think of that? Well done…

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

Last night 24th Dec 2020, we had clear sky and I used my Canon EOS M5 on a tripod to take photos over a half hour period. Had never used this camera in the dark before so some photos were very blurred. Pressed the wrong buttons a few times. Think this was on 1 second exposure, huge ISO setting, widest aperture.

Have reduced the size from 6000 px wide to 1000 here. Soon after this shot they set into the trees on the western border of our block. The trees are about 200m away from the camera. Exif data should be there if of interest.

The shrubs and trees visible in the foreground were lit by the moonlight, not apparent to the naked eye but quite visible in the photos. This was taken at 21:48 local time, about 1h40 after sunset.


I managed this shot with a 400mm telephoto:




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Excellent Eric. Well done.


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