Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Friday 29th Nov 201921:09

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°55' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 13° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 16:21 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 13° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 51 minutes after the Sun at 18:45.

The Moon will be at mag -10.4, 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 19h16m20s -23°06' Sagittarius -10.4 30'45"6
Saturn 19h16m10s -22°11' Sagittarius 0.4 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 40° from the Sun, which is in Scorpius at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by