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

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 at07:37 EDT(85 days ago)
11:37 UTC

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°15' to the north of Saturn. The Moon will be 5 days old.

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

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 18:34 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 22° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 21:14.

The Moon will be at mag -10.8, 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 17h32m40s -19°01' Ophiuchus -10.8 29'29"6
Saturn 17h32m40s -22°16' Ophiuchus 0.4 15"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 52° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 24 October 2017
Sunrise 07:27
Sunset 18:18
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

5-day old moon
Age of Moon
5 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:22 13:32 18:42
Venus 05:53 11:45 17:36
Moon 11:50 16:47 21:44
Mars 04:57 11:02 17:07
Jupiter 07:35 13:00 18:25
Saturn 11:43 16:29 21:14


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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