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

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

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:27 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 27° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 04:57.

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Jupiter will be at mag -2.5 in the constellation Sagittarius, and Saturn at mag 0.3 in the neighbouring constellation of 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.

A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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
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
Sunrise
05:18
Sunset
20:00
Twilight ends
22:01
Twilight begins
03:18

25-day old moon
Waning Crescent

18%

25 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:02 13:44 21:25
Venus 06:22 14:16 22:09
Moon 03:46 09:48 15:49
Mars 02:04 07:22 12:39
Jupiter 00:12 04:54 09:36
Saturn 00:27 05:13 10:00
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.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

Color scheme