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

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 a mere 21.1 arcminutes of each other. From some parts of the world, the Moon will pass in front of Saturn, creating a lunar occultation. The Moon will be 6 days old.

From Fairfield , the pair will become visible at around 20:00 (EDT), 22° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 22:25.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -11.4; and Saturn will be at mag 0.4. 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.

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 15h04m10s 14°47'S Libra -11.4 30'46"2
Saturn 15h03m50s 15°07'S Libra 0.4 16"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 69° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 29 May 2024

The sky on 29 May 2024
Sunrise
05:21
Sunset
20:17
Twilight ends
22:19
Twilight begins
03:19

21-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

60%

21 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:36 11:38 18:40
Venus 05:19 12:42 20:04
Moon 01:03 06:02 11:11
Mars 03:15 09:45 16:14
Jupiter 05:00 12:16 19:32
Saturn 02:02 07:42 13:23
All times shown in EDT.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

20 Jul 2014  –  Saturn ends retrograde motion
14 Mar 2015  –  Saturn enters retrograde motion
22 May 2015  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Aug 2015  –  Saturn ends retrograde motion

Image credit

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

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Fairfield

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41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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