Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon form a triangle in the night sky

starry sky above the monumental valley

While we wait patiently for the twinkling poinsettia, the night sky has decided to give us a cosmic pre-show just one night. Jupiter and Saturn will come closer together on December 21 than in nearly 800 years, but prior to the main event, the two planets will form a cosmic trine with the crescent moon. Visible only on December 16, the triangle will form once the moon is high in the night sky, or about six degrees southwest of the planets, according to Astronomy.

The triangle appears just after sunset, or a little after 7 p.m. local time. But before taking out the binoculars, make sure you can see the phenomenon well. If you are in a location far from light pollution, the brightness of the planets will increase, and the trio will be easiest to see when they are high in the sky. If you miss the formation on December 16, the planets will do a similar dance on December 17 and December 18; however, they will not be as close as before. If you have a moment, head to the nearest window and take a seat to witness the opening act of December’s cosmic extravaganza.