On Monday, the Earth’s northern hemisphere, which includes Egypt, will witness the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, according to Egypt’s National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG).
The two planets have been drawing closer to each other since November as they head towards a “great conjunction” on 21 December, where they will appear a tenth of a degree apart.
The NRIAG said that this conjunction happens every 20 years, but it has been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night.
People can see the great conjunction with the naked eye on 21 December at 5:30pm Cairo local time, according to the NRIAG.
“If you get a telescope in a quiet area with less light pollution, you will be able to see better and get the view of the four large moons of Jupiter ‘Europe, Io, Callisto and Ganymede,’ aside from a clear view of the planets themselves,” the NRIAG said.
The Egyptian Society for Astronomy (ESA) is organising an event with limited attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic at the Maadi Public Library in Cairo at 5pm, where observers can see the great conjunction through telescopes.
The ESA also announced that it would live stream the event on its Facebook page.