The planets Venus and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°47' of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 16:30 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 15 minutes after the Sun at 18:23.
Venus will be at mag -4.0; and Saturn will be at mag 0.5. 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.
A graph of the angular separation between Venus 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 30° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.
|The sky on 11 December 2019|
15 days old
All times shown in EST.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|09 Jul 2019||– Saturn at opposition|
|13 Jan 2020||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|20 Jul 2020||– Saturn at opposition|
|23 Jan 2021||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.