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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°15' of each other. The Moon will be 13 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:26 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 9° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:07, 27° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:59, when they sink below 7° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Saturn will be at mag 0.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 19h59m20s -23°09' Sagittarius -12.6 30'57"0
Saturn 19h58m10s -20°55' Sagittarius 0.1 18"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 166° from the Sun, which is in Cancer at this time of year.

The sky on 02 August 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:32 11:56 19:19
Venus 02:32 09:47 17:02
Moon 19:58 00:39 04:18
Mars 23:04 05:22 11:38
Jupiter 18:51 23:30 04:14
Saturn 19:18 00:07 04:53
All times shown in EDT.


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

20 Jul 2020  –  Saturn at opposition
23 Jan 2021  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
04 Feb 2022  –  Saturn at solar conjunction

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