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

Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn

Tue, 21 Aug 2018 at05:38 EDT(212 days away)
09:38 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 2°07' to the north of Saturn. The Moon will be 10 days old.

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 evening sky, becoming accessible at around 20:12 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 26° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:19, 28° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 01:14, when they sink to 7° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.3, and Saturn at mag 0.1, 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 the Moon 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
The Moon 18h10m40s -20°32' Sagittarius -12.3 29'34"9
Saturn 18h10m40s -22°40' Sagittarius 0.1 17"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 124° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 21 August 2018
Sunrise 06:27
Sunset 19:56
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

10-day old moon
Age of Moon
10 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:09 12:04 18:59
Venus 10:20 15:59 21:37
Moon 17:02 21:53 01:59
Mars 18:48 23:16 03:49
Jupiter 12:52 18:03 23:13
Saturn 16:35 21:19 02:07


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.

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20 Jul 2020, 18:15 EDT  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Aug 2021, 02:02 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.




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