In collaboration with NASA, Google on Monday celebrated the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the rare conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn with an animated doodle. In the doodle, the Great Conjunction is exhibited as cartoon Saturn and Jupiter meeting up for a quick high five, and the winter solstice as the literally “snow-capped” Earth watching the other two planets.Also Read - NASA's Mars Orbiter Finds Water Flowed On Red Planet Longer Than Thought

“Based on their orbits, from our vantage point on Earth, Jupiter and Saturn will cross within .1 degrees of each other (a fraction of the width of the full moon), a once-in-a-lifetime rendezvous recreated in the Doodle artwork. But looks can be deceiving, as the two gas giants will actually remain a vast distance of approximately 450 million miles apart!” Google said. Also Read - Google Celebrates India's 73rd Republic Day With Parade Doodle, Showcases The Country's Rich Heritage

During the Great Conjunction, the two planets in our solar system will appear to almost merge in Earth’s night sky, so much so that they’ll appear as a brilliantly bright ‘double planet’. Over the next two weeks, the two planets will inch closer to each other until they’re only a tenth of a degree apart in the night sky, which is roughly the same thickness as a coin, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA). Also Read - NASA Announces New Chief Scientist, Senior Climate Advisor

The last time such a December conjunction took place was back in 1226 and the planets won’t be this close again until March 15, 2080. The “Great Conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn is also being referred to as the “Christmas Star of 2020.”

Meanwhile, after Winter Solstice, days start becoming longer and nights shorter for people in the Northern Hemisphere.

Google and NASA have provided some tips on how best to see this spectacular great conjunction tonight

  • Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park.
  • An hour after sunset, Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible in the southwestern sky.
  • Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
  • Feel free to use binoculars, but the planets can still be seen with the unaided eye.