Jonathan Kemp


ON THIS YEAR'S winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will dance closer together in the sky than they have for centuries.
After a year unlike any other, 2020 will conclude with a spectacle of celestial proportions. On the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will dance closer together in the sky than they have for centuries. Perhaps a concluding memo from the cosmos putting an emphatic stamp on 2020. While this late December pairing will come closest on Dec. 21, the sight of Jupiter and Saturn appearing so near to one another in the night sky can be enjoyed throughout late December. The planets will appear as close together as the diameter of a full moon for a few weeks. This extended viewing period will provide...

MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENTS view the night sky through 8-inch and 11-inch reflecting telescopes at the Mittelman Observatory last week. Behind them rises the dome that houses the observatory’s 24-inch telescope. Red spectrum lights, such as those used on the observatory deck allow users to see what they’re doing with less night-sky interference than regular lighting. Photo by Jason Duquette-Hoffman
MIDDLEBURY — The winter solstice, which will mark the longest night of the year when it arrives this weekend, is often a time for ritual, reflection and spiritual investigation — not least because of the rich connections we have with darkness. But the physical darkness at the heart of many of our traditions is slowly going away. “If you’ve never seen a truly dark night sky, don’t wait too long — it’s getting harder and harder,” wrote astrophysicist Kelsey Johnson in The New York Times earlier this year. Satellite imagery between 2012 and 2017 showed that global light pollution increased at a...

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Addison County Independent