Amateur astronomers converge in Chesapeake to view rare Christmas Star


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Just in time for the holiday season, two heavenly bodies are converging for the first time in nearly eight centuries.

Some residents in Hampton Roads weren’t going to miss this celestial occurrence.

Dozens of amateur astronomers gathered at Cornland Park in Chesapeake Monday and mounted up their telescopes and cameras to catch the occurrence.

Using smartphone apps and the visible stars, the enthusiasts predicted the path Jupiter and Saturn were taking and pointed their telescopes to catch a glimpse of the event. The two planets were supposed to be in view from around 5:30 to 7 p.m., but Mother Nature had other plans, keeping the skies cloudy.

“I just do this because I love sharing with family and friends and other people that can’t really afford equipment like this, just to show them images and pictures of [things] they haven’t seen before,” said amateur astronomer, Eddy Parris. “And this time of year being so special, with Christmas, it’s just awesome.”

Even though the clouds did dampen viewing plans, the astronomers still will try to catch a glimpse of the two planets during the rest of the week.

And if you are interested to see this for yourself, the two planets will be visible Tuesday night after sunset. The best time to see the planets will be between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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