The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within a mere 13.8 arcminutes of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:56 (EDT) – 1 hour and 36 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 11° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:16.
Jupiter will be at mag -1.9; and Saturn will be at mag 0.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.
They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter and Saturn around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 34° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 18 April 2021|
6 days old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.
|11 Jan 1961||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|09 May 1961||– Saturn enters retrograde motion|
|19 Jul 1961||– Saturn at opposition|
|27 Sep 1961||– Saturn ends retrograde motion|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.