Photo by Gage Smith on Unsplash

It was the Middle Ages the last time humans witnessed the brilliant astronomical phenomenon we are about to see.

The planets Jupiter and Saturn align in the sky every 20 years or so, but it's been nearly 800 years since they've been close enough together from Earth's vantage point to create the double planet "star" known as the "Christmas star" or "Star of Bethlehem." This alignment will appear as a bright point of light that stands out starkly in the night sky.

"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, astronomer at Rice University, told Forbes.

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