Great Conjugation – UPSC Prelims

  • Conjunction: It is the name given to any event where planets or asteroids appear to be very close together in the sky when viewed from the Earth.
  • Great Conjunction: 
    • Astronomers use the term great conjunction to describe meetings of the two biggest worlds in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn.
    • The Great Conjunction happens once in about 20 years because of the time each of the planets take to orbit around the Sun.
    • It is also being popularly referred to as the “Christmas Star”.
  • Time taken to orbit around the sun: 
    • Jupiter takes roughly 12 years to complete one lap around the Sun and Saturn takes 30 years.
    • Saturn has a larger orbit and moves more slowly because it is not as strongly influenced by the Sun’s gravitational force as planets that are closer to the Sun.

Related Facts:
  • Jupiter: 
    • It is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System.
    • Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.
  • Saturn:
    • It is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the solar system.
    • Adorned with thousands of beautiful ringlets, Saturn is unique among the planets.
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