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Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn

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°43' to the north of Saturn. The Moon will be 3 days old.

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

From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 14° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:25 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 14° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 56 minutes after the Sun at 20:03.

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.

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 16h52m40s -17°27' Ophiuchus -9.9 29'28"4
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 33° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 02 November 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:59 13:08 18:17
Venus 10:54 15:30 20:06
Moon 10:09 15:13 20:17
Mars 13:27 18:10 22:53
Jupiter 05:13 11:05 16:56
Saturn 10:23 15:13 20:03
All times shown in EDT.


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
10 Dec 2016  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
15 Jun 2017  –  Saturn at opposition
21 Dec 2017  –  Saturn at solar conjunction

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