As we patiently await the twinkling Christmas star, the night sky has decided to give us a cosmic preshow for one night only. Jupiter and Saturn are set to align closer than they have in nearly 800 years on Dec. 21, but ahead of the main event, the two planets will form a cosmic triangle with the crescent moon. Visible only on Dec. 16, the triangle will form once the moon is high in the night sky, or about six degrees southwest of the planets, according to Astronomy.
The triangle will appear just after sunset, or a little after 7 p.m. local time. But, before you break out the binoculars, make sure you have a good view of the phenomenon. Being in a location away from light pollution will intensify the brightness of the planets, and the trio will be easiest to see when they are high in the sky. If you miss the formation on Dec. 16, the planets will be doing a similar dance on Dec. 17 and Dec. 18; though, they won't be quite as close as before. If you have a minute, scoot on over to the nearest window and pull up a seat to witness the opening act of December's cosmic extravaganza.