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Awesome in the space: Jupiter, Saturn ‘merge’ in rare cosmic event

As the Jupiter and the Saturn appeared to merge and looked like a single bright star, in what is called ‘The Great Conjunction’ on Monday evening, space enthusiasts had the opportunity to watch a rare celestial event.

People gathered to watch the phenomenon, which took place after about 400 years, on rooftops and open grounds in different parts of Kolkata and West Bengal though the winter fog partially hindered the view.

Hundreds of sky gazers assembled at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM) in Kolkata as the leading science museum made an arrangement for them to view the cosmic event at the southwestern part of the sky through a telescope, a BITM spokesman said.

‘Happens once in a lifetime’

The two planets have never been so close since 1623, Director of MP Birla Planetarium, Debi Prasad Duari, said.

He said, “If two celestial bodies visually appear close to each other from the Earth, it is called a conjunction. And such conjunction of the Saturn and the Jupiter is at times called a great conjunction, if it happens once in a lifetime.”

The planets will again appear to come as close as this from the Earth on March 15, 2080.

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