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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 2°26' of each other. The Moon will be 22 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:40 (EDT) – 3 hours and 32 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 24° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:53.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.7, and Saturn at mag 0.4, both in the constellation Capricornus.

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 20h15m00s -22°23' Capricornus -11.7 30'24"1
Saturn 20h13m30s -19°58' Capricornus 0.4 16"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 84° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 15 April 2020
Sunrise
06:11
Sunset
19:31
Twilight ends
21:10
Twilight begins
04:32

22-day old moon
Waning Crescent

45%

22 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:40 11:45 17:50
Venus 07:58 15:44 23:31
Moon 02:56 07:34 12:13
Mars 03:16 08:10 13:04
Jupiter 02:22 07:07 11:52
Saturn 02:40 07:30 12:19
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

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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