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
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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 Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:52 (EDT) – 3 hours and 38 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 25° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:58.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.7; and Saturn will be at mag 0.4. Both objects will lie in the constellation Capricornus.

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.

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 20h15m00s 22°23'S Capricornus -11.7 30'24"1
Saturn 20h13m30s 19°58'S 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 Apr 2020

The sky on 15 April 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

22-day old moon
Waning Crescent


22 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:57 12:02 18:07
Venus 08:22 16:01 23:39
Moon 03:01 07:52 12:46
Mars 03:28 08:27 13:26
Jupiter 02:33 07:24 12:14
Saturn 02:52 07:47 12:41
All times shown in EDT.


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.

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29 Sep 2020  –  Saturn ends retrograde motion

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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