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

Conjunction of Mars and Saturn

Mon, 02 Apr 2018 at07:52 EDT(18 days ago)
11:52 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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Ashburn
The sky at

Mars and Saturn will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 1°16' to the south of Saturn.

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 be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:18 (EDT) – 4 hours and 34 minutes before the Sun – and reach 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 conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 18h37m30s -23°32' Sagittarius 0.3 8"5
Saturn 18h37m30s -22°16' Sagittarius 0.3 16"7

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
Sunrise
06:52
Sunset
19:32
Twilight ends
21:04
Twilight begins
05:20

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

95%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:36 13:01 19:27
Venus 07:46 14:29 21:12
Moon 22:05 02:41 08:18
Mars 02:23 07:04 11:45
Jupiter 22:37 03:47 08:52
Saturn 02:18 07:04 11:50
All times shown in EDT.

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
EDT

Color scheme