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

Close approach of Jupiter and Saturn

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 7°01' of each other.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 18:19 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 69° above your southern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 18:43, 70° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 01:24, when they sink below 7° above your north-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

Jupiter will be at mag -2.4; and Saturn will be at mag -0.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Gemini.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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
Jupiter 07h27m50s +22°22' Gemini -2.4 40"1
Saturn 06h57m30s +22°37' Gemini -0.3 19"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 112° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 18 April 2021
Sunrise
05:58
Sunset
19:30
Twilight ends
21:14
Twilight begins
04:14

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

32%

6 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:00 12:39 19:18
Venus 06:16 13:04 19:52
Moon 09:52 17:56 01:01
Mars 08:58 16:41 00:25
Jupiter 03:40 08:53 14:05
Saturn 03:03 07:59 12:55
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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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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Cambridge

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42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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