Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Saturday 2nd Nov 201907:24

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°35' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 16:53 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 50 minutes after the Sun at 20:19.

The Moon will be at mag -11.3, and Saturn at mag 0.4, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair 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.

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 19h06m10s -23°01' Sagittarius -11.3 30'37"1
Saturn 19h06m00s -22°26' Sagittarius 0.4 15"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 65° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by