- The Chicago Astronomer -
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When July begins, both Jupiter and Saturn will be rising about an hour after sunset. Jupiter will appear in opposition from the Sun during the night of July 13-14. Saturn will do so during the night of July 19-20. On their opposition dates they will appear out all night.
On December 21 the two will appear to have an angular separation of only 6.1 arcminutes, the narrowest since 1623 and until 2080. However, those separations are not small enough for Jupiter to occult Saturn. The last such occultation occurred in 6857 BC, while the next two will both occur during 7541.
Conjunctions between the two occur about every 20 years. That’s their mutual synodic (lapping) period with a mean value of 19.86 years. Sometimes the conjunctions are triple due to the effect of apparent retrograde motion, but not this time.