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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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°46' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 18:59 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 23° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 21:39.

The Moon will be at mag -11.0, and Saturn at mag 0.4, 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.

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 16h44m00s -17°02' Ophiuchus -11.0 29'32"5
Saturn 16h41m50s -20°47' Ophiuchus 0.4 15"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 58° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 06 October 2016
Sunrise
07:10
Sunset
18:43
Twilight ends
20:12
Twilight begins
05:41

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

23%

5 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:54 12:05 18:15
Venus 09:53 14:59 20:04
Moon 12:12 17:15 22:18
Mars 14:01 18:33 23:05
Jupiter 06:30 12:29 18:28
Saturn 11:56 16:48 21:39
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme