The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Saturn and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Saturn and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 18.4 arcminutes of each other.

From Seattle however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 8° above the horizon at dawn.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

Saturn will be at mag 0.7; and Mars will be at mag 1.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Capricornus.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also 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 Saturn and Mars 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
Saturn 21h39m00s -15°02' Capricornus 0.7 15"8
Mars 21h39m30s -15°20' Capricornus 1.0 5"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 52° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 04 April 2022
Sunrise
06:42
Sunset
19:42
Twilight ends
21:34
Twilight begins
04:50

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

17%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:50 13:19 19:48
Venus 05:08 10:20 15:33
Moon 08:16 15:57 23:55
Mars 05:06 09:59 14:53
Jupiter 06:05 11:50 17:35
Saturn 05:01 09:56 14:51
All times shown in PDT.

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

01 Aug 2021  –  Saturn at opposition
14 Aug 2022  –  Saturn at opposition
27 Aug 2023  –  Saturn at opposition
07 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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