Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
Venus and Saturn will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 0°05' to the north of Saturn.
From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:32 (EST) – 2 hours and 43 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:54.
Venus will be at mag -4.0, and Saturn at mag 0.4, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.
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.
A graph of the angular separation between Venus and Saturn 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|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 36° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 08 January 2016|
28 days old
All times shown in EST.
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.
|22 May 2015||– Saturn at opposition|
|03 Jun 2016||– Saturn at opposition|
|15 Jun 2017||– Saturn at opposition|
|27 Jun 2018||– Saturn at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.