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

Close approach of Venus and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Venus and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within a mere 20.7 arcminutes of each other.

From San Diego , the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 17:44 (PDT), 12° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 43 minutes after the Sun at 18:54.

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

Venus will be at mag -3.9; and Saturn will be at mag 0.7. 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 Venus 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
Venus 21h49m10s 14°51'S Capricornus -3.9 10"8
Saturn 21h48m40s 14°32'S Capricornus 0.7 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 22° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 22 Jan 2023

The sky on 22 January 2023
Sunrise
06:46
Sunset
17:11
Twilight ends
18:37
Twilight begins
05:20

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

3%

1 day old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:13 10:19 15:25
Venus 08:06 13:29 18:52
Moon 07:49 13:03 18:23
Mars 12:53 20:04 03:15
Jupiter 09:53 15:57 22:01
Saturn 08:05 13:29 18:53
All times shown in PST.

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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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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San Diego

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32.72°N
117.16°W
PDT

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