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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 4°03' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Seattle, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:57 (PST) and reaching an altitude of 23° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 04:54.

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 -12.3; and Saturn will be at mag 0.4. 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 21h07m30s -21°24' Capricornus -12.3 31'38"6
Saturn 21h03m20s -17°29' Capricornus 0.4 17"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 116° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 30 May 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


19 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:15 14:11 22:08
Venus 06:18 14:20 22:23
Moon 00:57 05:08 09:19
Mars 08:19 16:14 00:10
Jupiter 01:41 06:51 12:01
Saturn 00:57 05:40 10:23
All times shown in PDT.


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
01 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
04 Feb 2022  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
14 Aug 2022  –  Saturn at opposition

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