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

Close approach of Jupiter and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 4°41' of each other.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:48 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 31° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:36.

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Jupiter will be at mag -2.5 in Sagittarius; and Saturn will be at mag 0.3 in 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.

A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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
Jupiter 19h56m00s -20°56' Sagittarius -2.5 42"0
Saturn 20h15m30s -19°55' Capricornus 0.3 17"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 120° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 18 May 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

25-day old moon
Waning Crescent


25 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:39 14:08 21:37
Venus 07:03 14:44 22:24
Moon 04:09 10:15 16:29
Mars 02:27 07:50 13:12
Jupiter 00:29 05:20 10:11
Saturn 00:48 05:43 10:38
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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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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