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Conjunction of Saturn and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Saturn and Mars will share the same right ascension, with Saturn passing 0°55' to the north of Mars.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Cambridge, 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 03:33 (EDT) – 2 hours and 55 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:54.

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Saturn will be at mag 0.4, and Mars at mag 0.8, both in the constellation Capricornus.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 Saturn and Mars 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
Saturn 20h10m10s -20°07' Capricornus 0.4 16"1
Mars 20h10m10s -21°03' Capricornus 0.8 6"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 70° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 31 March 2020
Sunrise
06:27
Sunset
19:09
Twilight ends
20:45
Twilight begins
04:51

7-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

39%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:40 11:14 16:47
Venus 08:08 15:42 23:17
Moon 10:52 18:30 01:08
Mars 03:37 08:18 13:00
Jupiter 03:12 07:52 12:32
Saturn 03:33 08:18 13:03
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

13 Jan 2020  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
20 Jul 2020  –  Saturn at opposition
23 Jan 2021  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition

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Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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