Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Jupiter and Saturn will form rare “Christmas Star” on winter solstice

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer in Earth’s night sky than they have since 1226 A.D. You can watch the event live here, courtesy of Lowell Observatory.This December, Jupiter and Saturn will put on a show for skygazers that hasn’t been seen in roughly 800 years. Astronomers are calling it the Great Conjunction of 2020. On December 21 — coincidentally the winter solstice — the two largest planets in our solar system will appear to almost merge in Earth’s night sky.During the event, Jupiter and Saturn will sit just 0.1 degrees apart, or a mere one-fifth the width of the Moon. The sight will likely leave many casual observers wondering “What are those large, bright objects so close together in the sky?”n fact, Jupiter and Saturn will be so close that you will be able to fit them both in the same telescopic field of view. That’s an incredibly rare occurrence. The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close together away from the Sun was in 1226 A.D., at a time when Genghis Khan was conquering large swaths of Asia, and Europe was still generations away from the Renaissance.

Humanity won’t have to wait quite as long to see the solar system’s two largest planets repeat this month’s performance, though. Another Great Conjunction will occur in 2080. Of course, many of us alive today won’t be around then, so it would be wise to soak in this show while you can.

 How to find Jupiter and Saturn

For much of the year, Jupiter and Saturn have shared the same swath of sky. The pair begin the month of December just 2 degrees apart, creating an already impressive sight. Now, you can find them both in the southwestern sky just after sunset, located some 20 degrees above the horizon at 6 P.M. local time.

By mid-month, they’ll be just one Moon-width apart. On December 16, the Moon will sit just 5 degrees away from the pair, offering a handy comparison. They’ll reach greatest conjunction on December 21.Conjunctions happen when two celestial objects appear to pass close to one another as seen from Earth. Of course, those objects aren’t necessarily physically close, they simply look that way because of their orbital alignment.

Conjunctions are extremely common, though. Throughout the year, the Moon regularly appears alongside a number of planets and bright stars. And two or more planets come together relatively frequently. However, having two bright planets like Jupiter and Saturn pair up is extremely rare.

The last conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn happened in May 2000. That close approach in our sky occurred relatively near the Sun, which made it hard to observe. A similar thing occurred in 1623 A.D., when Jupiter and Saturn brushed shoulders near the Sun.

Jupiter and Saturn conjunction 2020

We don’t have to worry about that this time. Throughout the month, the gas giants will be hard to miss. Jupiter shines brighter than any star in the sky at magnitude -2.0, while Saturn is dimmer at magnitude 0.6 — though the Ringed Planet is still quite bright.

So, you certainly won’t need binoculars or a telescope to see the Great Conjunction of 2020. But if you do have observing equipment, you’ll be able to zoom in and watch the dance of Jupiter’s four moons — Europa, Io, Callisto and Ganymede.

Then, without moving the telescope, you can slightly shift your gaze to Saturn and its magnificent rings. Despite the significant size difference between the planets, Saturn’s massive rings mean the two worlds both appear to have about the same diameter when viewed through a telescope.

As the conjunction reaches its climax on December 21, scopes located in the Eastern United States will be able to catch Ganymede as it transits Jupiter for three and a half hours starting at 7:04 P.M. EST. Meanwhile, telescopic observers on the West Coast will see Ganymede’s shadow hovering over Jupiter’s cloud tops by 9:40 P.M. EST.

You can watch a livestream of the Great Conjunction of 2020 below, courtesy of Lowell Observatory. Beginning at 7 P.M. EST on December 21, Lowell astronomers and educators will share spectacular live views of Jupiter and Saturn through observatory telescopes while discussing the nature of conjunctions.

 

Hillsdale College: K-12 at Home

What is K-12 Classical Education?

A classical education emphasizes human virtue and moral character, responsible citizenship, a content rich course of study, and teacher-led classrooms.

At Hillsdale College, we help parents and teachers offer this time-honored education to their students, whether at home or in the classroom. Ultimately, a classical education leads to the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtue so that each student becomes capable of self-government, and therefore able to live a happy life. These ends, in turn, will help to create good citizens and strong families and communities.

A Mighty Girl

The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls

OK I thought about the direction of this page.   Our daughter Ann loves technology.    I want to cover Women in STEM.   I want her to read about the women who have been in STEM.  My goal is to show more than just their work.  I want my daughter and other young girls to understand why they went into STEM.

Female Leadership–‘Be Competent Like A Woman And Confident And Ambitious Like A Man’

The Hour of Code is coming…

Code.org® is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities. Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn computer science, just like biology, chemistry or algebra. Code.org provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States and Code.org also organizes the annual Hour of Code campaign which has engaged 15% of all students in the world. Code.org is supported by generous donors including Amazon, Facebook, Google, the Infosys Foundation, Microsoft, and many more.

Keen on learning how to code? Have a knack to hack? Kode With Klossy wants you!

Our free (yep, free!) two-week summer program for young women 13 – 18 years old will teach you to build real-life apps whether you’ve never written a line of code or you’re a full-fledged hacker.  The scholarship is for anyone who’s passionate and interested in learning a new superpower. Don’t be shy, APPLY!

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