Visualizing the music of the spheres

We have known for thousands of years that the sky is full of harmonies and rhythms. Pythagoras called it the “music of the spheres.”

As part of the build-up to next week’s great conjunction, Steffen Thorsen (CEO of and I have written a piece for Sky & Telescope on the pattern of closer-than-usual approaches between Jupiter and Saturn.

Our team of programmers, astronomers, and enthusiasts at wanted to visualize the roughly 400-year rhythm of super-close conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn. For fun, we created an algorithm to run through a mathematical model of Jupiter’s and Saturn’s movements over a 16,000-year period.

16,000 years of Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions

Image credits: Steffen Thorsen & Graham Jones, Sky & Telescope

Published by Graham Jones

Astrophysicist and language teacher