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

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 at20:35 EDT(151 days ago)
00:35 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°27' of each other. The Moon will be 7 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 19:16 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 26° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 22:57.

The Moon will be at mag -11.5, and Saturn at mag 0.3, 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 17h26m00s -18°39' Ophiuchus -11.5 29'32"4
Saturn 17h24m30s -22°06' Ophiuchus 0.3 16"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 78° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 26 September 2017
Sunrise 07:00
Sunset 19:00
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

6-day old moon
Age of Moon
6 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:10 12:26 18:43
Venus 04:52 11:27 18:02
Moon 13:06 18:07 23:07
Mars 05:19 11:47 18:15
Jupiter 08:55 14:28 20:00
Saturn 13:24 18:10 22:57


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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15 Jun 2017, 06:05 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
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09 Jul 2019, 12:55 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
20 Jul 2020, 18:15 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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