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 Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°04' of each other. From some parts of the world, the Moon will pass in front of Saturn, creating a lunar occultation. The Moon will be 27 days old.

From Ashburn however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 5° above the horizon at dawn.

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The Moon will be at mag -10.1; and Saturn will be at mag 1.0. 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 23h05m00s 8°51'S Aquarius -10.1 33'08"4
Saturn 23h03m00s 7°53'S Aquarius 1.0 15"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 32° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 6 Apr 2024

The sky on 6 April 2024
Sunrise
06:44
Sunset
19:38
Twilight ends
21:11
Twilight begins
05:11

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent

4%

27 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:52 13:38 20:24
Venus 06:15 12:16 18:16
Moon 05:42 11:24 17:18
Mars 05:25 11:00 16:35
Jupiter 08:13 15:11 22:10
Saturn 05:34 11:11 16:48
All times shown in EDT.

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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Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
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