(RIVERTON, WY)– Monday, December, 21st is 2020’s winter solstice marking the shortest day of this incredibly long year. With the year dwindling down little by little, so is the daylight visibility, which will become a pleasant surprise for some stargazers in the Cowboy State tonight.
Today not only brings the first official day of winter which for Wyomingites may feel as though that was back before Halloween, now brings the turning of seasons and Christmas time cheer into the City of Riverton. In keeping with the Christmas spirit, tonight at sunset around 4:42 pm you can get a glimpse of the rare, once in a lifetime “Christmas Star” which hasn’t shined bright since March, 4th 1226.
It has been 400 years since the Christmas Star occurred and nearly 800 years since it happened at night and was able to be viewed here on Earth. The last visible Christmas Star “Great Conjunction,” which is when Saturn and Jupiter will be so close they will look like they are touching each other, we did not have observatories or planetariums to view this spectacle.
With Christmas just a few days away, the celestial event has been dubbed the “Christmas Star.” In a statement, NASA actually says you won’t even need a telescope to witness it.
“Look for them low in the southwest in the hour after sunset,” NASA officials said in a press release. “The two planets and their moons will be visible in the same field of view through binoculars or a small telescope. In fact, Saturn will appear as close to Jupiter as some of Jupiter’s moons.”