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

From Ashburn, the pair will become visible around 17:05 (EST), 29° above your southern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 20:50.

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 -11.0; and Saturn will be at mag 0.5. 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 20h51m40s -22°41' Capricornus -11.0 32'21"9
Saturn 20h47m40s -18°43' Capricornus 0.5 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 53° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 07 December 2021
Sunrise
07:13
Sunset
16:49
Twilight ends
18:25
Twilight begins
05:37

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

24%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:45 12:21 16:58
Venus 10:06 14:46 19:27
Moon 10:54 15:38 20:30
Mars 05:41 10:39 15:37
Jupiter 11:39 16:56 22:14
Saturn 10:51 15:50 20:50
All times shown in EST.

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.

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14 Aug 2022  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Aug 2023  –  Saturn at opposition
08 Sep 2024  –  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.

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Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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