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Close approach of Saturn and Ceres

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Saturn and 1 Ceres will make a close approach, passing within 0°25' of each other.

From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. They will become visible around 19:04 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 12° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 54 minutes after the Sun at 20:23.

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Saturn will be at mag 0.5; and 1 Ceres will be at mag 9.1. 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 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 Saturn and 1 Ceres 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
Saturn 15h15m10s -16°00' Libra 0.5 15"5
1 Ceres 15h15m50s -15°37' Libra 9.1 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 39° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 04 October 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

10-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


10 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:48 13:55 19:02
Venus 06:25 12:24 18:24
Moon 16:13 21:42 02:03
Mars 12:18 16:51 21:23
Jupiter 02:14 09:17 16:20
Saturn 10:10 15:15 20:21
All times shown in EDT.


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

15 Apr 2014  –  1 Ceres at opposition
10 Dec 2014  –  1 Ceres at solar conjunction
25 Jul 2015  –  1 Ceres at opposition
08 Jan 2016  –  1 Ceres at aphelion

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