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

Conjunction of Saturn and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Saturn and Mars will share the same right ascension, with Saturn passing 3°33' to the north of Mars.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Ashburn, the pair will become visible at around 20:19 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 25° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 15 minutes after the Sun at 23:01.

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Saturn will be at mag 0.4, and Mars at mag 0.6, 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.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Saturn 15h02m50s -15°02' Libra 0.4 16"3
Mars 15h02m50s -18°36' Libra 0.6 6"9

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

The sky on 27 August 2014
Sunrise
06:33
Sunset
19:47
Twilight ends
21:23
Twilight begins
04:57

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

3%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:58 14:14 20:30
Venus 05:14 12:12 19:09
Moon 08:36 14:36 20:36
Mars 12:49 17:49 22:49
Jupiter 04:27 11:33 18:39
Saturn 12:36 17:48 23:01
All times shown in EDT.

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

10 May 2014  –  Saturn at opposition
22 May 2015  –  Saturn at opposition
03 Jun 2016  –  Saturn at opposition
15 Jun 2017  –  Saturn at opposition

Image credit

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme