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

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°04' to the north of Saturn. The Moon will be 17 days old.

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

From Seattle, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 00:16, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 03:29, 20° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:12, 16° above your south-western horizon.

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 -12.4, and Saturn at mag 0.1, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 17h44m40s -18°56' Sagittarius -12.4 29'26"2
Saturn 17h44m40s -22°01' Sagittarius 0.1 18"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 146° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 13 May 2017
Sunrise
05:34
Sunset
20:37
Twilight ends
22:58
Twilight begins
03:13

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

91%

17 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:54 11:31 18:09
Venus 04:01 10:17 16:34
Moon 23:16 03:03 07:41
Mars 06:41 14:38 22:35
Jupiter 16:50 22:35 04:25
Saturn 23:06 03:29 07:48
All times shown in PDT.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

10 Dec 2016  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
15 Jun 2017  –  Saturn at opposition
21 Dec 2017  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
17 Apr 2018  –  Saturn at aphelion

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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47.61°N
122.33°W
PDT

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