Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
Mars and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°16' of each other.
From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:18 (EST) – 4 hours and 34 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 27° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:21.
Mars will be at mag 0.3, and Saturn at mag 0.3, 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 Mars 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 93° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.
|The sky on 02 April 2018|
16 days old
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.
|15 Jun 2017||– Saturn at opposition|
|27 Jun 2018||– Saturn at opposition|
|09 Jul 2019||– Saturn at opposition|
|20 Jul 2020||– Saturn at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.