Christmas star captured shining over Sound of Kerrera

The rare celestial moment was captured on camera by Nick Edgington on Monday evening.

Christmas star captured shining over Sound of Kerrera Facebook

A Christmas star has been captured shining over the Sound of Kerrera. 

Photographer Nick Edgington captured the rare celestial moment on camera near Oban on Monday evening.

The phenomenon occurs when Saturn and Jupiter become close together in the skies when seen from Earth, in what is known as a great conjunction. 

As a result, the two planets appear to look like a giant star. 

Nick said: “It’s an ultra rare event that happens roughly once every 20 years, but this year it is extra special as they are closer together than they have been since the 17th century.

“Because they appear so close together some are referring to it as the Christmas Star or the Star of Bethlehem.

“It was visible in the sky as the sun began to set around 4pm and lasted for approximately two and a half hours until they dropped below the horizon.

“Jupiter is on the left and Saturn is on the right. Several of Jupiter’s moons are also visible (Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa) are also visible in the close up image – making for quite a bright ball of light in the dusk sky.”

Some of Jupiter's moons were visible as part of the rare phenomenon.Facebook

STV weather presenter Sean Batty said: “Don’t worry about them colliding, they’re still about 450 million miles apart, but to us they will be almost in perfect alignment as Saturn moves directly behind Jupiter.

“There will be a tiny separation, but because they are so close it will look like a large star.

“For weeks now they’ve been getting closer and closer together, but it’s tonight they’ll be closest, in what some are calling the kissing planets.

“If you don’t catch a glimpse this evening, you’ve got a long wait to see them this close again – 2080 and 2417.”

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