Google dedicates Google Doodle to Winter Solstice, ‘Great Conjunction’

Hemai Sheth | | Updated on: Dec 21, 2020
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On Dec 21, Jupiter and Saturn will nearly overlap to form a ‘double planet’; it’s an event that hasn’t been easily visible since the Middle Ages — almost 800 years ago

Google today dedicated its Google Doodle to celebrate the Winter Solstice which coincides with the ‘Great Conjunction’ of Jupiter and Saturn.

Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest day and the longest night of the year. This year, the day falls on December 21. It also coincides with a phenomenon called the ‘Great Conjunction’ where Jupiter and Saturn will nearly overlap to form a ‘double planet’.

“As earth’s Northern Hemisphere hunkers down for winter and its longest night of the year, it seems Jupiter and Saturn have decided to put on quite an unusual show for the world to see,” Google said in a blog post.

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“The two largest planets in our solar system will nearly overlap to form a “double planet,” an event that hasn’t been easily visible since the Middle Ages — almost 800 years ago. Today’s animated Doodle celebrates the Northern Hemisphere’s first day of winter as well as this rare double planet sighting, — or the ‘Great Conjunction’— which can be viewed from anywhere around the globe,” it said.

The tech giant collaborated with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the Doodle.

The event is rare as the two planets will be just a “tenth of a degree” apart, according to NASA.

“It’s 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, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this ‘great conjunction’,” NASA said.

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The event will be visible an hour after sunset.

“Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky,” NASA said.

Published on December 21, 2020

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