Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Thursday 25th Apr 201913:30

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°22′ of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:10 (BST) – 3 hours and 35 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 15° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:21.

The Moon will be at mag -12.1, and Saturn at mag 0.3, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair 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.

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 19h27m20s -21°53′ Sagittarius -12.1 29’58″9
Saturn 19h27m10s -21°31′ Sagittarius 0.3 17″0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 104° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by