Presented by Guy Fujert
A bike light fights through the darkness. There are no street lights on the dirt road in the suburbs of Newmanster. The cyclist consciously chose this place. Here he has the best view of the sky. The cyclist is Marco Ludwig, head of the Newmanster Laboratory. He gets his two cameras and various lenses from his bike’s baby trailer, which he turns into a luggage carrier. For several days, Ludwig is always dragged to a dark place on the outskirts of the city before 5pm because the lab is closed due to the corona. He is trying to observe the large fusion of Jupiter and Saturn in the open – the two largest planets in our solar system. “The two have been dancing with each other since summer. And in the winter solstice they get closer to each other,” Ludwig said, commenting on the integration of the planets.
A closed cloud
Over the past few days, some evenings have been clear. Marco Ludwig was able to create impressive videos and pictures. Today there is a cloud with a few gaps. Still, he wants to try to see the planets. Jupiter and Saturn will appear as bright stars to the naked eye if the clouds break on the right side of the moon, in the right place in the southwest. “The moon is there” Starcasser suddenly shouts. “Now I’m hopeful again. I’ll see something today.”
Only the orbits cross each other
It is the hope of a man who has flown halfway around the world for the best view of astronomical events. Like many celestial phenomena, the Great Link is a perspective event. The orbits of the planets cross as seen from Earth. “In space, Jupiter and Saturn are about 750 million kilometers apart. By comparison: the distance from the Sun to the Earth is only 150 million kilometers,” Ludwig explains. The day of close reconciliation is not just an event: unlike a lunar or solar eclipse, the meeting of Saturn and Jupiter develops slowly – then declines again. It fascinated Newmanster and astronomers around the world for days.
Did the “star of Bethlehem” join?
The head of the lab reports that the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of the solar system, also saw a large link about 400 years ago, while the Regional Express 7 from Newmanster rushed north in sight. “And he calculated that a great connection also took place 2,000 years ago.
You can watch this event for a few minutes
After 6 p.m., Marco Ludwig puts his equipment back in his baby trailer. “The planets are already repositioned. It is common for Shelswick-Holstein to see major astronomical events for a maximum of a few minutes,” he says. Ludwig gets on his bike and drives home through the cloudy night. Over the next few days he would again look for a dark spot on the outskirts of Newmanster. Because he knows: he will not look closely at Jupiter and Saturn right now. According to Ludwig, it will not happen again in 60 years.
Shortly afterwards, Marco Ludwig receives the first photos on his cell phone from astronomers – Rostock and Rome. You are lucky. Who knows: maybe it’s really the ponzetia in the pictures.