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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°46' of each other. The Moon will be 15 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible between 21:09 and 04:40. They will become accessible around 21:09, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will reach its highest point in the sky at 00:57, 26° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible around 04:40 when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5; and Saturn will be at mag 0.0. 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 18h24m10s -20°41' Sagittarius -12.5 29'30"5
Saturn 18h24m00s -22°28' Sagittarius 0.0 18"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 177° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 27 June 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:03 14:30 21:58
Venus 08:37 15:46 22:55
Moon 20:09 00:06 04:57
Mars 22:41 03:23 08:02
Jupiter 16:04 21:14 02:28
Saturn 20:14 00:57 05:36
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.

Related news

27 Jun 2018  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Jan 2019  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
09 Jul 2019  –  Saturn at opposition
13 Jan 2020  –  Saturn at solar conjunction

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