The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Jupiter and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed

Tags: Appulse
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°02' of each other.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 00:42, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 05:53, 47° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:00, 44° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

Jupiter will be at mag -2.1; and Saturn will be at mag 0.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will 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
Jupiter 12h37m50s -02°39' Virgo -2.1 36"0
Saturn 12h39m30s -01°42' Virgo 0.6 17"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 90° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 19 January 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


6 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:14 13:17 18:20
Venus 06:19 10:55 15:32
Moon 11:00 17:14 23:28
Mars 11:13 18:09 01:06
Jupiter 07:41 12:34 17:27
Saturn 07:30 12:20 17:10
All times shown in EST.


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.

Related news

22 Sep 1980  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
26 Mar 1981  –  Saturn at opposition
06 Oct 1981  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
08 Apr 1982  –  Saturn at opposition

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.






Color scheme