The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Conjunction of Saturn and Mercury

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 at06:07 EST(5 days ago)
11:07 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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Ashburn
The sky at

Saturn and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with Saturn passing 1°21' to the north of Mercury.

From Ashburn (click to change) however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 3° above the horizon at dusk.

Saturn will be at mag 0.4, and Mercury at mag 1.3, 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 Saturn and Mercury 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
Saturn 17h51m50s -22°29' Sagittarius 0.4 15"0
Mercury 17h51m50s -23°50' Sagittarius 1.3 9"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 13° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 06 December 2017
Sunrise 07:13
Sunset 16:46
Twilight ends
18:21
Twilight begins
05:38

18-day old moon
Age of Moon
18 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:18 12:58 17:37
Venus 06:34 11:25 16:17
Moon 20:37 02:41 09:51
Mars 03:22 08:53 14:24
Jupiter 04:32 09:47 15:01
Saturn 08:14 12:59 17:44

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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

15 Jun 2017, 06:05 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Jun 2018, 09:15 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme