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

Lunar occultation of Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Saturn

The Moon will pass in front of Saturn, creating a lunar occultation visible from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from Fairfield, though a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Saturn is visible (shown in red), and where its reappearance is visible (shown in blue). Solid contours show where each event is likely to be visible through binoculars at a reasonable altitude in the sky. Dotted contours indicate where each event occurs above the horizon, but may not be visible due to the sky being too bright or the Moon being very close to the horizon.

Map showing where the occultation is visible

Outside of the contours, the Moon does not pass in front of Saturn at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair may be visible.

The map can be downloaded in PNG , PDF or SVG format. A KMZ file , is also available, which can be opened in Google Earth to provide a higher resolution map.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
Brazil 22:54–02:35
Algeria 19:26–04:31
Peru 22:57–01:54
Colombia 23:00–02:01
Mauritania 19:18–04:11
Bolivia 22:55–01:50
Venezuela 23:11–02:15
France 19:14–04:32
Spain 19:12–04:30
Germany 13:02–04:34
Morocco 19:18–04:24
Mali 19:39–04:08
Italy 13:27–04:36
Great Britain 19:12–04:23
Libya 20:34–04:26
Norway 13:19–04:18
Western Sahara 19:16–04:11
Poland 13:00–04:36
Ecuador 09:35–01:50
Guyana 23:15–02:19
Senegal 10:14–03:45
Tunisia 20:36–04:32
Sweden 13:24–04:27
Suriname 23:17–02:24
Serbia 20:57–04:38
Hungary 21:00–04:37
Greece 20:53–04:37
Ireland 19:10–04:12
Czechia 13:09–04:35
Portugal 19:13–04:22
Austria 13:21–04:35
Denmark 12:58–04:28
Croatia 20:54–04:37
Panama 00:08–01:49
French Guiana 23:18–02:28
Guinea 00:49–03:30
Bosnia and Herzegovina 20:56–04:37
Netherlands 13:08–04:27
Slovakia 21:03–04:36
Switzerland 13:22–04:33
Chile 08:01–01:31
Belgium 13:15–04:28
Guinea-Bissau 11:17–03:32
Romania 21:02–04:38
Paraguay 07:21–01:28
Macedonia 20:56–04:37
Albania 20:54–04:37
Costa Rica 00:05–01:45
Slovenia 20:57–04:36
Northern Ireland 13:11–04:10
Montenegro 20:56–04:37
The Canary Islands 19:05–04:09
Corsica 20:48–04:34
Bulgaria 20:59–04:38
Gambia 10:19–03:36
Cape Verde 18:56–03:40
Trinidad and Tobago 23:31–02:13
Mallorca 20:43–04:30
Luxembourg 13:17–04:29
Nicaragua 00:05–01:43
Shetland 12:53–04:00
The Portuguese Azores 18:43–03:52
Orkney 12:58–04:02
Guadeloupe 08:13–02:05
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23:40–02:11
Menorca 20:44–04:30
Barbados 23:39–02:15
Martinique 08:13–02:10
Curacao 00:30–01:56
Saint Lucia 23:48–02:11
Isle of Man 13:13–04:11
Ibiza 19:26–04:28
Andorra 20:48–04:29
Dominica 08:13–02:08
Malta 20:44–04:31
Jersey 21:00–04:21
Grenada 23:38–02:11
Guernsey 21:01–04:21
Melilla 19:25–04:24
Gibraltar 19:21–04:22
Vatican 20:51–04:35
Liechtenstein 13:23–04:32
Monaco 20:51–04:32
Aruba 00:23–01:53
San Marino 20:54–04:35
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba 00:30–01:57
Madeira 19:06–04:08
The Savage Islands 19:09–04:07
Isla de Alborán 19:24–04:24
Islas Chafarinas 19:26–04:24

Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a small fraction of the Earth's surface. Since the Moon is much closer to the Earth than other celestial objects, its exact position in the sky differs depending on your exact location on Earth due to its large parallax. The position of the Moon as seen from two points on opposite sides of the Earth varies by up to two degrees, or four times the diameter of the full moon.

This means that if the Moon is aligned to pass in front of a particular object for an observer on one side of the Earth, it will appear up to two degrees away from that object on the other side of the Earth.

The position of Saturn at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Saturn 23h15m30s 7°06'S Aquarius 0.6 0'19"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occultations

« Previous Next »
Visible from the Contiguous United States Worldwide Worldwide Visible from the Contiguous United States
21 Feb 2002 24 Jul 2024 Occultations of Saturn 17 Sep 2024 17 Sep 2024
14 Jul 2024 14 Aug 2024 Occultations 27 Aug 2024 17 Sep 2024

The sky on 20 Aug 2024

The sky on 20 August 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


16 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:02 12:38 19:13
Venus 07:52 14:15 20:38
Moon 20:03 01:23 06:54
Mars 00:43 08:13 15:42
Jupiter 00:33 08:00 15:27
Saturn 20:34 02:12 07:50
All times shown in EDT.


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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08 Sep 2024  –  Saturn at opposition
23 Mar 2025  –  Saturn ring plane crossing
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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