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

Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn

Sat, 16 Jul 2016 at00:47 EDT(552 days ago)
04:47 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 3°26' to the north of Saturn. The Moon will be 12 days old.

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

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 20:50 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 27° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:03, 30° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 02:10, when they sink to 7° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.4, and Saturn at mag 0.1, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

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 the Moon 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 Moon 16h35m10s -16°50' Ophiuchus -12.4 29'54"9
Saturn 16h35m10s -20°17' Ophiuchus 0.1 17"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 135° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 16 July 2016
Sunrise 05:56
Sunset 20:33
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

12-day old moon
Age of Moon
12 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:47 14:02 21:16
Venus 06:49 14:02 21:14
Moon 17:48 22:50 03:09
Mars 16:07 20:55 01:46
Jupiter 10:31 16:51 23:12
Saturn 17:10 22:03 03:01


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.

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03 Jun 2016, 02:25 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
15 Jun 2017, 06:05 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Jun 2018, 09:15 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
09 Jul 2019, 12:55 EDT  –  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.




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