FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show The Recent ‘Great Conjunction’ Of Jupiter And Saturn?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Jupiter and Saturn’s recent “great conjunction” occurring over the coast of Chile.

Verdict: False

The video has been circulating online since at least July 2019. It appears to show a solar eclipse, not the recent “great conjunction.”

Fact Check:

The two largest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, appeared closer together in the night sky of Dec. 21 than they have since the 17th century, CBS News reported. Though conjunctions between the two planets happen every 20 years, this celestial event, known as the “great conjunction,” was particularly close, with Jupiter and Saturn being one-tenth of a degree apart from an earthbound perspective, according to the outlet.

Some social media users have been sharing a video that they claim shows the “Great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn from the sky of Chile.” In the video, people on a beach watch the sky suddenly get darker as an object appears to move in front of the light source. (RELATED: Did NASA Spend More Than $165 Million To Develop Pens That Work In Space?)

The video, however, does not depict the recent “great conjunction” between Jupiter and Saturn. Check Your Fact found that the video has been circulating online since at least July 2019, when it was posted on the website FlyHeight with the title “A Total Sun Eclipse In Northern Chile!” Facebook and Twitter users shared the video in July 2019 as well, similarly describing it as a solar eclipse in the captions.

On July 2, 2019, a total solar eclipse was visible across parts of Chile and Argentina, according to CNN. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun, casting a shadow over Earth, according to Space.com. Footage of people watching the July 2019 eclipse on a beach in Chile can be found on YouTube.

Photos of the Dec. 21 conjunction do not closely resemble those taken during the July 2019 solar eclipse.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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