The solar system\u2019s two largest planets Jupiter and Saturn on Monday came in a conjunction so intimate, it will not occur again till the year 2080. What astronomers call the \u201cGreat Conjunction\u201d took over the evening sky above the northern hemisphere and treated stargazers to a mystical site on Monday when the two planets in a once-in-a-lifetime illusion seemed to be celestially aligned. The rare spectacle resulted from a near convergence of the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn that happened to coincide with the Northern Hemisphere\u2019s winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The two frozen-gas spheres appeared closer and more vibrant \u2013 almost as a single point of light than at any time in 800 years even though they were, in fact, more than 730 million kilometres apart. The Optimal conjunction took place at 18:22 GMT. The best conditions to view this phenomenon were on Monday with clear skies and close proximity to the equator. In fact, astronomers suggested the best way to watch the conjunction was by looking towards the southwest in an open area about an hour after sunset. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote in an email to Reuters, \u201cBig telescopes don\u2019t help that much, modest binoculars are perfect, and even the eyeball is okay for seeing that they are right together\u201d. A technology museum in the city of Kolkata, India also hosted ardent space fans to witness the rare site using a telescope while others gazed from open areas and rooftops in the city. In Kuwait, astrophotographers travelled into the desert west of Kuwait City to capture the once-in-a-lifetime event. Looking through a telescope or even a good pair of binoculars, Jupiter and Saturn were separated by n Jupiter and Saturn Merge in Rare Celestial Alignment after 400 Years o more than a fifth of the diameter of a full moon but with the naked eye, they would merge into a \u201chighly luminous\u201d double planet, said Florent Deleflie from the Paris Observatory. With a small instrument \u2013 even a small pair of binoculars \u2013 people can see Jupiter\u2019s equatorial bands and its main satellites and Saturn\u2019s rings. It was last in the year 1623 that the two planets were this close to one another but weather conditions in regions where the event could be seen blocked the view. Jupiter, which is the larger planet, takes 12 years to revolve around the sun, while Saturn takes 29 years. Every 20 years or so, they appear to observers on Earth to come closer to each other. The next Great Conjunction between the two planets \u2013 although not nearly as close together \u2013 is due in November 2040. However, an alignment similar to Monday\u2019s will not take place until March 2080.