Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Tuesday 16th Jul 201906:16

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°13' of each other. The Moon will be 14 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will be visible between 21:48 and 03:22. They will become accessible at around 21:48, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:37, 16° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible at around 03:22 when they sink to 8° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Saturn at mag 0.1, 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 19h11m10s -22°20' Sagittarius -12.5 30'04"2
Saturn 19h11m10s -22°07' Sagittarius 0.1 18"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 173° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by