The Moon, Saturn and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 5°14' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.
From Cambridge, the trio will become visible around 19:55 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 20° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 19 minutes after the Sun at 21:55.
The Moon will be at mag -11.1; Saturn will be at mag 0.6; and Mars will be at mag 1.2. The trio will lie in the constellation Virgo.
They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Saturn around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the trio 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 trio will be at an angular separation of 56° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.
|The sky on 21 August 2012|
4 days old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 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.
|15 Apr 2012||– Saturn at opposition|
|25 Oct 2012||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|28 Apr 2013||– Saturn at opposition|
|06 Nov 2013||– Saturn at solar conjunction|