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

Close approach of Saturn and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Saturn and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 26.4 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 5° above the horizon at dawn.

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Saturn will be at mag 1.0; and Mars will be at mag 1.2. 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 Saturn and Mars 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
Saturn 23h04m50s -07°43' Aquarius 1.0 15"8
Mars 23h04m10s -07°18' Aquarius 1.2 4"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 36° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 10 April 2024
Sunrise
06:20
Sunset
19:28
Twilight ends
21:08
Twilight begins
04:40

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

9%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:14 12:58 19:41
Venus 05:55 12:02 18:09
Moon 07:12 14:36 22:15
Mars 05:04 10:41 16:18
Jupiter 07:41 14:45 21:49
Saturn 05:07 10:43 16:19
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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06 May 2025  –  Equinox on Saturn

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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