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 19.3 arcminutes of each other.

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 2° above the horizon at dawn.

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Venus will be at mag -3.9; and Saturn will be at mag 1.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius.

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 22h56m00s -08°14' Aquarius -3.9 10"5
Saturn 22h56m30s -08°32' Aquarius 1.0 15"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 19° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 21 March 2024
Sunrise
06:54
Sunset
19:06
Twilight ends
20:38
Twilight begins
05:18

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

93%

11 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:26 14:02 20:38
Venus 06:17 11:51 17:24
Moon 15:42 23:00 06:03
Mars 05:43 10:59 16:16
Jupiter 08:48 15:47 22:46
Saturn 06:18 11:50 17:23
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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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41.14°N
73.26°W
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