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Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°35' of each other. The Moon will be 27 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:35 (EDT) – 1 hour and 41 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 12° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:58.

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The Moon will be at mag -10.4; and Saturn will be at mag 0.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation 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.

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 20h50m00s -21°56' Capricornus -10.4 31'01"8
Saturn 20h46m40s -18°26' Capricornus 0.6 15"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 40° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 09 March 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent


26 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:13 10:22 15:31
Venus 06:13 11:50 17:27
Moon 04:34 09:10 13:45
Mars 09:18 16:45 00:13
Jupiter 05:02 10:07 15:13
Saturn 04:35 09:30 14:26
All times shown in EST.


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

23 Jan 2021  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
02 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
04 Feb 2022  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
14 Aug 2022  –  Saturn at opposition

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