The heavens have decided we need some entertainment down here in Leeds, Planet Earth. So on the 21st December 2020, they’ve kindly scheduled a show for us. Saturn and Jupiter, the two largest planets in our solar system are coming together to create, the poetically dubbed, Christmas Star. The last time this phenomena occurred was 800 years ago!
Witnessing planetary events such as this can help to create a feeling of awe within us, research finds that some people are more sensitive to this than others. For me, this feeling of wonder changes me both physiologically and psychologically, momentarily I forget my problems as I look out into a starry sky, watch birds at the feeder, visit a place of outstanding natural beauty or watch a river flow ferociously after a storm.
What is happening when we feel like this? Studies have found that a feeling of awe can diminish our sense of self in that moment and give people a perception that they have more available time, can increase feelings of connectedness, enhance mood and also interestingly, decrease materialistic feelings. I mean, that’s pretty awesome in itself! I guess these sights are a reminder of who we are and what we are part of. For me they can help me put things into perspective.
Leeds is urban and so does have quite a lot of light pollution, and so it may help to find a pocket of Leeds that has less light pollution to view the Christmas Star, here is a map with a postcode finder search tool, you can check out the amount of light pollution where you live.
So if it’s not overcast, I may try and venture somewhere close by that has a little less light pollution and create a little awe.
Maybe on that evening we should all ‘wish upon a star’
or even two planets!
Will you try to see it? Please feel free to comment. Fingers crossed it’s not cloudy.