GUWAHATI, Dec 21 - Sky-watchers got an end-of-the-year treat this evening with the rare celestial phenomenon known as the �great conjunction� of Jupiter and Saturn, where the two biggest planets of the solar system seemed to merge.
More than 300 people in Guwahati took the opportunity to witness the celestial marvel from the Guwahati Planetarium, which had made arrangements for watching the phenomenon with three telescopes.
The last such observable conjunction happened nearly 800 years ago in 1226 AD, and the next such conjunction will not occur till March 15, 2080.
Even if the �great conjunction� was visible with unaided eye, those watching it with the telescope got a chance to see four moons of the Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, besides watching Jupiter and Saturn in one field of view of the telescope.
�It�s considered as a rare sight where the two planets seemed apparently looked merging to a single point in the sky within 0.1 degree separation from each other. As such, this is considered among the rarest of the celestial events that can arouse awareness and create scientific curiosity among the general public,� Babul Ch Bora, curator of the planetarium told The Assam Tribune.
�Guwahati Planetarium, in association with the Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers� Association, Guwahati, arranged the observation of the conjunction event from the planetarium premises from 5 pm to 6 pm. This will be continued at the same time every evening till December 27, � Bora added.
The enthusiastic gathering today included a good number of children. �It�s an amazing experience to be able to witness such an event with the help of the telescope. Apart from better viewing, the planetarium officials also explain the events lucidly, that enhances the experience. Besides, since the norms of social distancing are followed properly, it is safe to bring children,� said Pranab Das, an enthusiastic sky-gazer, who came with his son to see the conjunction.