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

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:36 (EST) and reaching an altitude of 32° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:08.

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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'S Capricornus -12.3 31'38"6
Saturn 21h03m20s 17°29'S 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

The sky on 30 May 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


19 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:46 14:11 21:36
Venus 06:50 14:19 21:48
Moon 00:14 05:00 09:50
Mars 08:49 16:13 23:37
Jupiter 01:27 06:51 12:15
Saturn 00:36 05:40 10:44
All times shown in EDT.


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.

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04 Jun 2022  –  Saturn enters retrograde motion

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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