Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°54' of each other. The Moon will be 26 days old.
From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:29 (EDT) – 3 hours and 51 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 28° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:59.
The Moon will be at mag -10.8, and Saturn at mag 0.4, both in the constellation Libra.
The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 the Moon 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|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 47° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 28 December 2013|
25 days old
All times shown in EST.
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.
|28 Apr 2013||– Saturn at opposition|
|10 May 2014||– Saturn at opposition|
|22 May 2015||– Saturn at opposition|
|03 Jun 2016||– Saturn at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.