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°11' of each other. The Moon will be 10 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:40 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 18° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:00, 26° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 01:49, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Saturn at mag 0.1, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 19h52m20s -23°26' Sagittarius -12.5 30'47"5
Saturn 19h51m10s -21°15' Sagittarius 0.1 18"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 139° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 29 August 2020
Sunrise
06:05
Sunset
19:22
Twilight ends
21:03
Twilight begins
04:24

10-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

87%

10 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:02 13:27 19:52
Venus 02:23 09:42 17:02
Moon 17:50 22:23 01:56
Mars 21:28 03:58 10:25
Jupiter 16:51 21:25 02:03
Saturn 17:20 22:00 02:45
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

20 Jul 2020  –  Saturn at opposition
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
14 Aug 2022  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Aug 2023  –  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