On Monday (December 21), Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer in the night sky than they had in 800 years. To the naked eye, this “Great Conjunction” looked like one massive celestial object glistening above the Earth. But to the telescope – and consumer cameras equipped with telescopic lenses – the planets showed their individual faces in stunning detail as they walked through the sky.
Florian Kriechbaumer, a photographer from the United Arab Emirates, captured a celestial spectacle from one of the most invisible locations on Earth: near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In a large parking lot across from the skyscraper (which is 2,720 feet or 830 meters high), Kriechbaumer recorded the conjunction for 45 minutes, capturing the moment the two planets approached each other (from his point of view).
You can see his results in the time-lapse video below, which summed up the entire recording in approximately 20 seconds.
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“When I filmed them, there were a few clouds, so I was worried if I might catch it at all,” Kriechbaumer told Live Science by email. “Fortunately, they opened at the right time. Seeing Saturn’s rings and Jupiter with some of its moons appearing next to each other in your viewfinder is just such an amazing moment.”
“Everyone should experience watching the planet and the night sky once in a lifetime,” he added.
Stunningly, it seems from Earth, Saturn and Jupiter were not particularly close during the conjunction, Live Science has previously reported. Jupiter is currently about 890 million kilometers away from Earth, or approximately 5.9 times the Earth’s distance from the Sun, while Saturn is 1.6 billion kilometers away from Earth, or about 10.8 times the Earth’s distance from the Sun. In relation to each other, the planets were still 724 million km apart. They seem close to us simply because Jupiter’s orbit brought it into the line between Earth and Saturn.
Originally posted on Live Science.