Where Twin Falls Should Look For ‘Star Of Bethlehem’ Tonight
December 21, 2020, is the day that an extremely rare celestial phenomenon is expected to produce the fabled "Star of Bethlehem" in the night sky. While the image cast in the heavens is not the result of any singular star itself, it is an event that puts Saturn and Jupiter front and center on the celestial stage.
The news that broke weeks ago that the year 2020 would end with a truly incredible opportunity for human beings to catch a glimpse of Saturn and Jupiter at 0.1 degree of separation in the sky gave many some excitement in an otherwise unpleasant year.
The rare "double-planet" event, which is an extraordinary anomaly in the astronomy field, is created when Jupiter and Saturn cross into a rotational path known as a celestial conjunction. It is thought that more than 800 years have passed since any life form on Earth may have viewed our two largest planets take part in this process.
The glow created by the two passing bodies is what makes the "Star of Bethlehem," or the "Christmas Star," visible on Earth. December 21 is also the day of solstice.
For those in Twin Falls hoping to see this phenomenon, you'll need to look to the southwest horizon about an hour after sunset--in other words, at about 6:10 P.M.
The forecast for the Twin Falls area is calling for increasing clouds tonight, and a chance of rain. Hopefully, we can catch a break long enough to witness the event, because it will likely be the only opportunity in our lifetimes to see this conjunction.