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 3°41' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:24 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 56 minutes after the Sun at 20:02.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -9.9, 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 16h54m30s -17°30' Ophiuchus -9.9 29'28"7
Saturn 16h52m40s -21°10' Ophiuchus 0.4 15"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 34° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 02 November 2016
Sunrise
07:38
Sunset
18:07
Twilight ends
19:37
Twilight begins
06:07

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

8%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:58 13:07 18:15
Venus 10:53 15:29 20:05
Moon 10:07 15:12 20:16
Mars 13:26 18:09 22:52
Jupiter 05:12 11:03 16:55
Saturn 10:22 15:12 20:02
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  –  Saturn at opposition
15 Jun 2017  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Jun 2018  –  Saturn at opposition
09 Jul 2019  –  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