Saturn and Jupiter to almost ‘kiss’ this winter solstice

Saturn and Jupiter will appear to almost kiss this winter solstice, although not because of some cosmic mistletoe hanging overhead.

Rather, the two gas giants will look as though they’re very close in the night sky in an event known as a “great conjunction,” which happens roughly every 20 years. In reality, Saturn and Jupiter will be hundreds of millions of miles apart from each other.

This year’s great conjunction will be exceptionally close — just a tenth of a degree apart, or one-fifth of a full moon’s diameter. The last time Saturn and Jupiter looked this cozy was July 16, 1623, back when the famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive, according to, a Live Science sister site.

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