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Mythical Ireland

Jupiter and Saturn over the entrance to Newgrange

Jupiter and Saturn over the entrance to Newgrange

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The closest approach of Jupiter and Saturn in centuries occurred on winter solstice 2020. The event was obscured here in Ireland by blanket cloud! However, I had been watching and photographing the pair as they approached for the previous few weeks and am happy to have caught their rare meeting. The last time Jupiter and Saturn met, on 30th May 2000, they were swamped by the light of the sun and all but invisible to us. Back then, they were a degree apart (approximately two moon-widths), so much further than they are for the 2020 'Great Conjunction'. Their previous closest meeting came at the end of 1980 and on New Year's Day 1981 when they made a beautiful pair rising in the east after 1am. As always with one-off astronomical events, Ireland is not the ideal viewing location because of our capricious weather. Here is a photo of Jupiter and Saturn hanging over the entrance to Síd in Broga / Newgrange taken on 19th December 2020. 

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