Will clouds get in the way of the Valley’s once-in-a-lifetime view of the Christmas Star?

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On Monday night, Jupiter and Saturn will align to make a bright "star" in the western sky

(WKBN) – Unfortunately, clouds may get in the way of a once-in-a-lifetime view for Valley residents.

On Monday night, Jupiter and Saturn will align to make a bright “star” in the western sky.

It’s been 800 years since they’ve been this close together.

Research astronomer Jay Reynolds said you should be able to see this super conjunction with the naked eye. A telescope or binoculars will help you see the planets’ moons and the separation between them.

“Those green dots are all the moons you’ll be able to see in one telescopic view,” Reynolds said. “It doesn’t even matter how good the telescope is, this is what you’ll see. Now binoculars, you’ll see both planets very close by. You may see one or two moons definitely, especially of Jupiter and maybe a couple of Saturn, but this is the telescopic view. Happy Meal binoculars will not work.”

It’ll be tough to see with the weather conditions expected for our area Monday night, but here’s some advice for the best viewing possible:

  • Be ready to see the conjunction within 30 minutes after sunset — that’s when the two planets will be closest together
  • Be in a clear, open space like a field or baseball diamond
  • Look to the west, where the sun just set

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