Throughout history, every 20 years, people have witnessed a celestial event known as the “great conjunction.” This spectacle, which creates the appearance of a double planet, occurs when the orbits of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn align in a way that make the latter two planets look extremely close together. According to NASA, the event will be most visible to the naked eye in the hour after sunset on Dec. 21.
So, if you’re looking for a fun and socially distant activity, UScellular suggests grabbing your mobile device and heading outside for an evening of learning under the stars.
“This event only occurs once every 20 years, and the last time the planets aligned this close was in the Middle Ages,” said Matt Kasper, director of sales for UScellular in New England. “Using the latest mobile devices and apps to view this rare event will be fun, safe and educational for the whole family and we hope everyone can get outside to experience it.”
UScellular has the following suggestions to make the “Double Planet” viewing a success:
• Use your phone: There are several helpful apps that can provide information on the planetary alignment as well as give information on what other stars and planets are visible. The NASA app has tons of information about the planets in our solar system and hosts live streams of cosmic events. Skyview uses a cell phone camera directed towards the sky to identify planets, stars, galaxies and satellites. Scope Nights Astronomy Weather provides detailed weather forecasts so users can plan to stargaze on clear nights.
• Observe from home: Planets appear brighter in the sky than stars, so there is no need to get away from bright city lights. NASA recommends choosing a viewing spot that faces southwest and is free from obstructions. As long as the sky is clear, the double planet effect will be visible to the naked eye.
• Adjust your settings: In order to capture photos of the night sky on a smart phone, the camera settings need to be adjusted. Turn the exposure down, use the device’s night mode feature if it has it, and hold the phone steady while taking the shot.
Try a telescope: If you wanted to get a close-up view of the Double Planet alignment, using a telescope might be your best friend. Some telescopes can even link to your device using Bluetooth, enabling you to record 4K video and take high-quality photos.
UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. It is ranked #1 in the North Central Region in the J.D. Power 2020 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study – Volume 2. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with UScellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.