The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within a mere 57.0 arcminutes of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:36 (EDT) – 2 hours and 46 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 24° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 04:02.
Jupiter will be at mag -2.0; and Saturn will be at mag -0.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.
They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 38° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.
|The sky on 18 April 2021|
6 days old
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.
|30 May 2119||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|02 Oct 2119||– Saturn enters retrograde motion|
|08 Dec 2119||– Saturn at opposition|
|13 Feb 2120||– Saturn ends retrograde motion|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.