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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 1°56' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 16:52 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 27° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 26 minutes after the Sun at 19:57.

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 -10.5; and Saturn will be at mag 0.8. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius.

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 22h30m00s -13°13' Aquarius -10.5 32'53"9
Saturn 22h26m40s -11°28' Aquarius 0.8 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 41° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 14 January 2024
Sunrise
07:11
Sunset
16:34
Twilight ends
18:14
Twilight begins
05:32

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

12%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:35 10:12 14:48
Venus 04:44 09:23 14:02
Moon 09:39 15:00 20:21
Mars 06:14 10:42 15:10
Jupiter 11:35 18:24 01:17
Saturn 09:16 14:37 19:57
All times shown in EST.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 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

27 Aug 2023  –  Saturn at opposition
28 Feb 2024  –  Saturn at solar conjunction
08 Sep 2024  –  Saturn at opposition
12 Mar 2025  –  Saturn at solar conjunction

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Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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