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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°18' of each other. The Moon will be 22 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 00:54, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:04, 31° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:14, 29° above your southern horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1, and Saturn at mag 0.2, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair 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.

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 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 Moon 15h24m50s -16°34' Libra -12.1 31'25"6
Saturn 15h25m00s -16°16' Libra 0.2 17"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 99° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 21 February 2014
Sunrise
06:31
Sunset
17:22
Twilight ends
18:56
Twilight begins
04:57

22-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

58%

22 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:46 11:06 16:27
Venus 04:04 09:04 14:04
Moon 23:29 04:35 09:41
Mars 21:45 03:23 08:58
Jupiter 12:46 20:22 04:02
Saturn 23:59 05:04 10:05
All times shown in EST.

Source

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  –  Saturn at opposition
10 May 2014  –  Saturn at opposition
22 May 2015  –  Saturn at opposition
03 Jun 2016  –  Saturn at opposition

Image credit

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Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EST

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