Jupiter and Saturn aligning at night for first time in 800 years

For most of us, 2020 has been a year we'd rather put behind us, but Monday brings the chance for something really worth remembering because it hasn't been seen in almost 800 years.

For the first time since the Middle Ages, we'll be able to see Jupiter and Saturn align in a spectacular way.

From Earth's viewpoint, they've been moving closer and closer together. Soon they'll align to just one-tenth of a degree apart - about the thickness of a coin.

Through binoculars or a small telescope, you'll be able to see both planets join.

Planets are constantly moving across our night sky, sometimes appearing very far from each other, other times appearing close. When they're close, that's called a Great Conjunction. It last happened in 1623, but it was during the daytime which made it hard to see.

This time, it's at night, and the last time that happened was 1226 when Genghis Khan ruled the Mongol Empire.

"No one alive today has seen this, so it's pretty rare," Stardome Observatory astronomy educator John Rowe says.

Around the world, space enthusiasts have been watching as the planets get closer.

Monday's the day, and here's how you can see it.

"Wait for the sun to set, and just to the right of where the sun went down, look up a little bit and they'll be the first two points of light coming out as the sky darkens," Rowe says.

Astronomers say after the year we've had, the night sky's a good way to take our minds off things. 

Jupiter and Saturn are the largest, brightest gas planets in our solar system, so maybe this Great Conjunction is the bright light we need to shine us into 2021.