2020 has been a crazy year. So many people call it a dumpster fire or simply hell, but a rare miracle occurred in the night sky. On Monday, December 20th, the planets Saturn and Jupiter were aligned for the first time since the time of Galileo and Kepler. These two astronomers were responsible for everything we knew about these two planets. We as modern observers are thankful for their achievements. The Great Conjunction of 2020 should be remembered as one of the year's best highlights out of all the other worse ones.
Because the alignment occurred in December, many people called the alignment the Great Christmas Star. The story of Christmas dates to the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem found at the beginning of the New Testament. The ones who came to see the newborn savior followed a bright star that lead to Bethlehem and the shed holding Jesus. While that star was bright as a whole, the Great Conjunction wasn't complete in Florida's view.
Earlier this year, I took an online Astronomy course on the solar system. I'm not passionate about science. I did enjoy learning so much from Astronomy in the class; however, I was more interested in the nature of the planets rather than any other aspect of the solar system. Space does scare me at times. When I heard about the Great Conjunction, I thought it would be great to witness it. I had to because the next one would be many years from now.
The event gained plenty of attention, but a small few were too interested in the event. They were too busy with the craziness of the world or not interested in astronomy to care. My mother and I were so certain about witnessing the alignment. I was scared to have missed it, but I did the best I could.
After finishing dinner, I waited for the sun to set. I went out to look for the occurrence. I couldn't quite find it at first. The moon was straight up in the sky lit up in crescent form. I spotted a star or two, but they were too dim to actually be the one that I was searching for. My mother got out and we scanned the sky. My mother noticed it as soon as she pointed it out to me. It was Northwest above the trees. We assumed it was the case with having two stars very close to one another. The left star was bright and twinkled than the one from the right. The left star did get brighter as soon as the night sky got darker. My mother and I switched between binoculars to see a close look at it.
Like I said before, Saturn and Jupiter never aligned as well as I would have hoped. They were very close. I believed to have seen some of Saturn's rings. Other planets do have rings, but they are not as prominent as Saturn's rings. They are visible because of the light projected through our light spectrum.
With Saturn and Jupiter so close together, I thought it was the portal to Neverland. Peter Pan, says that the way to get to Neverland is "Second Star to the Right and Straight on 'til Morning." Could this mean that he might live on Saturn or Jupiter? I shared this thought with my mother and she laughed. It may have been a joke, but it would've been wonderful for J.M. Barrie or any Peter Pan fan to witness this event.This year has proven to be one to remember for the rest of history. After 2016, all I wanted to do was to focus on my academic and personal life over the state of everyone else. Because of 2020, I was forced to participate in keeping myself clean from the pandemic and voting in an election. Yet, this event made me grateful that I could be a witness to it. It reminded me that there are worldly events that can be remarkable and good. With all the Scrooges out in the world, the rest of us are given an early Christmas present from the universe.
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