The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within a mere 14.5 arcminutes of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 16:55 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 13° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 42 minutes after the Sun at 18:21.
Jupiter will be at mag -2.0; and Saturn will be at mag 0.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Capricornus.
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.
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 23° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius 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.
|15 Oct 2139||– Saturn ends retrograde motion|
|09 Feb 2140||– Saturn at solar conjunction|
|08 Jun 2140||– Saturn enters retrograde motion|
|18 Aug 2140||– Saturn at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.