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PHOTOS: 'Great Conjunction' Dazzles Stargazers Around The World

Planets Jupiter (left) and Saturn are seen during the Great Conjunction from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Planets Jupiter (left) and Saturn are seen during the Great Conjunction from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

Stargazers around the world didn't pass up an opportunity to see a rare event in the night sky.

On Monday evening, Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer to each other than they have for hundreds of years, in what has become known as the "Great Conjunction." Their proximity is the view from Earth. In space, the planets are hundreds of millions of miles apart.

Jupiter and Saturn's positions in the sky align "about once every 20 years," according to NASA, though almost never this closely.

"You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky," Patrick Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, said in a recent statement.

Photographers around the world captured images of the gas giants appearing to shift close together – and groups of people taking in the unique sight.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The family Mota Velazco, at the border crossing between Mexico and the United States in Ciudad Juarez, uses a telescope to view Jupiter and Saturn during the Great Conjunction.
Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters
The family Mota Velazco, at the border crossing between Mexico and the United States in Ciudad Juarez, uses a telescope to view Jupiter and Saturn during the Great Conjunction.
People watch the sunset as they wait to see the planets Jupiter and Saturn during the great conjunction at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images
People watch the sunset as they wait to see the planets Jupiter and Saturn during the great conjunction at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Jupiter and Saturn are seen coming together in the night sky, over the sails of Brill windmill in Brill, England.
Jim Dyson / Getty Images
Jupiter and Saturn are seen coming together in the night sky, over the sails of Brill windmill in Brill, England.
People stand in a queue to see the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the Maidan area in Kolkata, India.
Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP via Getty Images
People stand in a queue to see the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the Maidan area in Kolkata, India.
People watch the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter on Monday in Edgerton, Kan. The two planets are in their closest observable alignment since 1226.
Charlie Riedel / AP
People watch the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter on Monday in Edgerton, Kan. The two planets are in their closest observable alignment since 1226.
Jupiter, left, and Saturn appear about one-tenth of a degree apart during an astronomical event known as the Great Conjunction, seen behind Christmas lights in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Jupiter, left, and Saturn appear about one-tenth of a degree apart during an astronomical event known as the Great Conjunction, seen behind Christmas lights in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kuwaiti astrophotographers Mohammad al-Obaidi, right, and Abdullah al-Harbi follow the Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in al-Salmi district, a desert area west of Kuwait City
Yasser Al-Zayyat / AFP via Getty Images
Kuwaiti astrophotographers Mohammad al-Obaidi, right, and Abdullah al-Harbi follow the Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in al-Salmi district, a desert area west of Kuwait City