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Scottish Observatory for live stream ‘rare encounters’ between Jupiter and Saturn this week – here’s how to watch

On Monday evening, all eyes will be on the sky as the Scots attempt to glimpse a rare encounter between the two largest planets in our solar system

A planetary connection between Jupiter and Saturn will be visible at sunset, and tomorrow’s event will be the closest these two planets have seen in the sky since 1226

The phenomenon occurs when “two or more planets appear very close together in the sky even though they are separated by millions of miles”

The astronomers at the Coats Observatory in Paisley hope to be able to stream the event live on their Facebook page due to the good weather conditions

They say that the planets are both bright enough to be seen without optical aids and appear so close together that they can be seen through the eyepiece of a telescope or binoculars at the same time

A statement from the observatory states: “Jupiter and Saturn are both visible at sunset deep in the southwest and seem to be getting closer in the last few weeks – the attached picture was taken last Saturday evening, Jupiter the bright one at the bottom right with three of its moons visible and Saturn the oblong spot in the top left (the camera is not good enough to see the rings!)

“Both are bright enough to be seen without optical aid. On Monday evening, both planets appear so close to each other that they can be seen in the eyepiece of a telescope or binoculars at the same time”

If the sky is clear, the observatory will broadcast the event live on its Facebook page from 4 p.m.

They say sky watchers need to be quick as the planets will be below the horizon by 5:30 p.m.

And the conjunction will also coincide with another event in our sky – the Ursid meteor shower is expected to occur sometime on the night of Jan. December will peak and until the early morning of December 22nd December will be visible

This sky display is associated with Comet 8P / Tuttle, also known as Comet Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 13 years

The shooting stars seem to shine from near Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab) in the Ursa Minor constellation

The Ursid meteor shower is usually sparse, producing around five meteors an hour at its peak

The summit coincides with a moon in the first quarter, so that when the weather is nice, shooting stars can still be seen in the night sky

According to the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the meteor shower also occurs around the time of the winter solstice when there are long hours of darkness for stargazing

The meteors, mostly no larger than a grain of sand, burn as they strike the atmosphere at 36 miles per second to create a shooting beam of light across the sky

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