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°18' of each other. The Moon will be 8 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:18 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 26° above your southern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 20:38, 29° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 00:39, 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 -12.2; and Saturn will be at mag 0.2. 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 19h49m20s -23°43' Sagittarius -12.2 30'49"7
Saturn 19h48m10s -21°25' Sagittarius 0.2 17"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 111° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 25 September 2020
Sunrise
07:00
Sunset
19:02
Twilight ends
20:31
Twilight begins
05:31

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

68%

8 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:10 14:31 19:52
Venus 03:35 10:26 17:17
Moon 16:07 20:47 00:29
Mars 20:07 02:35 08:59
Jupiter 15:21 20:05 00:53
Saturn 15:49 20:38 01:31
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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.

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

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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Ashburn

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Longitude:
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39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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