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NMSU holds online ‘Christmas Star’ viewing as Jupiter, Saturn line up closest in centuries

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- It's a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.

On Monday evening after sundown, Jupiter and Saturn will line up closer together than they have been in 400 years, creating the appearance of what observers are calling a "Christmas Star."

RELATED CONTENT: WATCH: Video shows the ‘Christmas Star’ as Jupiter, Saturn come closest they have in centuries

"It's pretty exciting," explained Jon Holtzman, the head of New Mexico State University's Department of Astronomy. "The amount of interest has really been pretty extraordinary."

The university streamed their viewing event from NMSU's Tortugas Mountain Observatory at 4:30 p.m. (You can see it in the video player at the top of this article.)

Holtzman called the event a "great conjunction."

"You'll see Jupiter and Saturn very close to one another," Holtzman explained. "If you have great eyesight, you'll probably be able to tell them apart. Every 20 years, they come close, but just not quite this close."

For more information on the Christmas Star, click here.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is a former ABC-7 New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and weekend evening newscast anchor.


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