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Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°41' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 00:58, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 04:42, 26° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:29, 25° above your southern horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.3; and Saturn will be at mag 0.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

They 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 18h37m30s -20°34' Sagittarius -12.3 29'35"2
Saturn 18h37m20s -22°16' Sagittarius 0.1 17"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 125° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 04 May 2018
Sunrise
05:47
Sunset
19:52
Twilight ends
21:40
Twilight begins
03:59

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

78%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:56 11:13 17:31
Venus 07:13 14:45 22:16
Moon 23:29 04:17 09:05
Mars 01:14 05:53 10:31
Jupiter 20:03 01:12 06:17
Saturn 23:59 04:43 09:22
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

17 Apr 2018  –  Saturn at aphelion
27 Jun 2018  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Jan 2019  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
09 Jul 2019  –  Saturn at opposition

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme