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 1°58' of each other. The Moon will be 17 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:25, when they reach an altitude of 9° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 02:23, 32° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:36, 16° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Saturn will be at mag 0.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Scorpius.

They 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.

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 16h05m20s 16°35'S Scorpius -12.6 30'38"1
Saturn 16h04m10s 18°32'S Scorpius 0.0 18"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 161° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 25 Feb 2024

The sky on 25 February 2024
Sunrise
06:47
Sunset
17:57
Twilight ends
19:26
Twilight begins
05:17

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

98%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:52 12:16 17:39
Venus 05:41 10:43 15:45
Moon 18:09 00:55 07:30
Mars 05:39 10:37 15:36
Jupiter 09:31 16:21 23:11
Saturn 07:03 12:34 18:05
All times shown in EST.

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

14 Mar 2015  –  Saturn enters retrograde motion
22 May 2015  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Aug 2015  –  Saturn ends retrograde motion
25 Mar 2016  –  Saturn enters 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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Ashburn

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Longitude:
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39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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