Close approach of Venus and Saturn

Monday 18th Feb 201912:19

Venus and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°05' of each other.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 8° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:17 (BST) – 1 hour and 53 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 8° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:47.

Venus will be at mag -4.1, and Saturn at mag 0.4, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 Venus 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
Venus 19h11m00s -20°53' Sagittarius -4.1 16"7
Saturn 19h11m20s -21°58' Sagittarius 0.4 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 42° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by