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Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°33' of each other. The Moon will be 24 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:45 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 31° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:45.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.6; and Saturn will be at mag 0.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Libra.

They 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.

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

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon 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 Moon 15h20m20s -16°39' Libra -11.6 31'49"4
Saturn 15h20m40s -16°06' Libra 0.3 16"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 73° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 25 January 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent


24 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:58 13:05 18:12
Venus 05:21 10:24 15:28
Moon 01:39 06:41 11:43
Mars 23:04 04:48 10:29
Jupiter 14:44 22:19 05:58
Saturn 01:45 06:47 11:49
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.

Related news

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

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