In late December 2020, the two largest planets in our Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, will be so close in the sky that you'll be able to see them both through the same telescope at the same time. Such close passes are known as Great Conjunctions. The Great Conjunction of 2020 will be the closest in almost 400 years, and it may well be the closest pass that has ever been viewed through a telescope.

The Astrophysics Group at the University of Exeter and Exeter Science Centre invite you to join them in observing this once in a lifetime event.

How to See it Yourself

In this video, our head of group, Professor Matthew Bate, explains what Great Conjunctions are and tells you how and when you may be able to see the Great Conjunction of 2020. This video also describes what you may expect to be able to see by eye, using binoculars, or through a telescope.

Information for Kids

In this video, one of our postgraduate researchers, Federica Rescigno (@fede_rescigno), tells the younger folks in the audience more about what is going to happen and about the main players — Jupiter & Saturn.


Learn More: Exoplanet Climates

As astrophysicists, our job is not only to observe the planets through telescopes, but also to understand their nature — what processes formed them and caused them, and their climates, to evolve to how they appear today? The pursuit of answering these questions for planets around other stars, which are known as extrasolar planets, or exoplanets, is still a relatively young endeavour, and one which we are very active in studying.

Join Dr Alice Mills and Dr Natalie Whitehead from Exeter Science Centre as they discuss exoplanet climatology with two of the researchers pioneering this field: Professor Nathan Mayne and Dr Stephen Thomson.

Email

Our main avenue of communication will be via a mailing list. To sign up for email updates, please follow the link below. Get Email Updates

Twitter

We will also be posting updates about the event via Twitter, so please feel free to follow our @UoE_Astro Twitter account. Find us on Twitter

Where are Jupiter and Saturn now?

As with all wondrous things, there's nothing quite like seeing it for yourself. Jupiter and Saturn are currently visible in the UK, low in the sky towards the south west in the early evening. Click the link below for help finding them yourself. View in Stellarium