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

Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed

Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 2°05' of each other. The Moon will be 25 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:25 (EDT) – 2 hours and 34 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:41.

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 -11.1 in the constellation Capricornus, and Saturn at mag 0.5 in the neighbouring constellation of 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.

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 20h07m40s -22°22' Capricornus -11.1 30'10"9
Saturn 20h06m30s -20°17' Sagittarius 0.5 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 59° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 18 March 2020
Sunrise
06:57
Sunset
19:01
Twilight ends
20:34
Twilight begins
05:25

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent

24%

24 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:57 11:19 16:42
Venus 08:38 15:49 23:01
Moon 04:12 08:48 13:24
Mars 04:00 08:38 13:17
Jupiter 04:00 08:43 13:25
Saturn 04:25 09:13 14:01
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

09 Jul 2019  –  Saturn at opposition
20 Jul 2020  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
14 Aug 2022  –  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.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme