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 3°46' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Washington , the pair will become visible at around 17:59 (MST), 29° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 42 minutes after the Sun at 21:04.

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 -10.8; and Saturn will be at mag 0.7. 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 21h42m50s 19°02'S Capricornus -10.8 32'52"3
Saturn 21h37m30s 15°29'S Capricornus 0.7 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 47° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 26 Dec 2022

The sky on 26 December 2022
Sunrise
07:43
Sunset
17:22
Twilight ends
18:56
Twilight begins
06:10

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

20%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:02 13:54 18:46
Venus 08:54 13:42 18:30
Moon 10:55 16:06 21:24
Mars 15:17 22:41 06:06
Jupiter 12:15 18:15 00:14
Saturn 10:35 15:49 21:04
All times shown in MST.

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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04 Nov 2023  –  Saturn ends 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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Washington

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Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MST

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