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

Close approach of Venus and Saturn

Wed, 18 Sep 2013 at11:54 EDT(1286 days ago)
15:54 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Venus and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°28' of each other.

From Newark (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 19:16 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 16° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 54 minutes after the Sun at 20:52.

Venus will be at mag -4.1, and Saturn at mag 0.5, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair 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.

At around the same time, the two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between Venus and Saturn around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Venus 14h22m00s -15°29' Libra -4.1 16"7
Saturn 14h27m30s -12°16' Libra 0.5 15"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 42° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 18 September 2013
Sunrise: 06:39
Sunset: 19:00
from 05:07
until 20:32

13-day old moon
Age of Moon:
13 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:17 13:59 19:40
Venus 10:20 15:27 20:35
Moon 18:26 00:30 05:26
Mars 03:02 10:10 17:18
Jupiter 00:51 08:18 15:44
Saturn 10:12 15:32 20:52


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.

Related news

28 Apr 2013, 04:14 EDTSaturn at opposition
06 Nov 2013, 07:04 ESTSaturn at solar conjunction
10 May 2014, 14:15 EDTSaturn at opposition
18 Nov 2014, 03:54 ESTSaturn at solar conjunction

Image credit

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




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