On Monday (December 21), Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer together in the night sky than they had done for 800 years. To the naked eye, this “great conjunction” resembled a single, massive celestial object shining over the Earth. But for telescopes and consumer cameras equipped with telescopic lenses – the planets showed their individual faces in stunning detail as they traveled across the sky.
Florian Kriechbaumer, a photographer in the United Arab Emirates, captured the celestial spectacle from one of the Earth’s most celestial places: near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. In a large parking lot opposite the skyscraper (which is 2,720 feet or 830 meters high), Kriechbaumer filmed the connection for 45 minutes and captured the moment the two planets approached each other (from his vantage point).
You can see his results in the time-lapse video below, which condensed the entire recording in about 20 seconds.
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“When I shot these, there were a few clouds, so I was afraid I might catch it at all,” Kriechbaumer told WordsSideKick.com in an email. “Fortunately, they opened at the right moment. Seeing Saturn’s rings and Jupiter with some of its moons appearing side by side in your seeker is just such an incredible moment.”
“Everyone should go out and experience looking at the planets and the night sky once in their lives,” he added.
Stunning, as it appears from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter were not very close to each other during the context, WordsSideKick.com previously reported. Jupiter is currently approx. 550 million miles (890 million kilometers) from Earth, or approx. 5.9 times the Earth’s distance from the sun, while Saturn is approx. 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km) from Earth, or approx. 10.8 times the Earth’s distance from the sun. In relation to each other, the planets were still 724 million km apart. They look close to us simply because Jupiter’s orbit brought it into the line between Earth and Saturn.
Originally published on WordsSideKick.com.