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 sky at

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within a mere 16.2 arcminutes 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 14 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible between 19:57 and 05:05. They will become accessible at around 19:57, when they rise to an altitude of 11° above your eastern horizon. They will reach their highest point in the sky at 00:31, 43° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible at around 05:05 when they sink below 11° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.8; and Saturn will be at mag 0.6. 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 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 23h07m30s 7°42'S Aquarius -12.8 33'18"6
Saturn 23h08m00s 7°56'S Aquarius 0.6 19"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 170° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 17 Sep 2024

The sky on 17 September 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:54 12:23 18:53
Venus 09:12 14:46 20:21
Moon 18:42 00:17 06:04
Mars 00:27 07:53 15:19
Jupiter 23:18 06:40 14:01
Saturn 18:54 00:31 06:08
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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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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