NEW YORK CITY — There’s no question: What happens in the sky the night of the winter solstice is sure to bring some joy in a year when it’s been hard to find in New York City. Jupiter and Saturn will dance in a planetary conjunction, lining up perfectly to create the illusion of a “Christmas star.”
The two bright planets have been visible in the evening sky for the past several nights as they move closer together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21, the winter solstice.
But if the solstice and the “great conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn aren’t enough to get you outside, the Ursid meteor shower will offer a show of shooting stars at the same time.
The National Weather Service forecasts partly cloudy skies over New York City Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close together was in 1623, according to NASA. As the two giant planets traveled together across the sky, Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn in the astronomical event known as the “great conjunction.”