Mercury and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°18' of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 10° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:16 (EDT) – 1 hour and 35 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 10° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:27.
Mercury will be at mag -0.7; and Saturn will be at mag 0.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Libra.
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 Mercury 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 17° from the Sun, which is in Scorpius at this time of year.
|The sky on 25 November 2013|
22 days old
All times shown in EST.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
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.
|06 Nov 2013||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|10 May 2014||– Saturn at opposition|
|18 Nov 2014||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|22 May 2015||– Saturn at opposition|