Close approach of the Moon and Saturn

Monday 12th Aug 201908:53

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°02' of each other. The Moon will be 11 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 in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 20:52 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 12° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:39, 16° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 01:26, when they sink to 8° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.4, 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 19h03m30s -22°24' Sagittarius -12.4 30'00"2
Saturn 19h03m30s -22°21' Sagittarius 0.1 18"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 145° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by