Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2015 Jan 16

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 1°50' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 03:56 (GMT), 4 hours and 4 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 18° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:34.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.0 in the constellation Scorpius, and Saturn at mag 1.2 in the neighbouring constellation of Libra.

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.

The precise positions of the Moon and Saturn at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 16h02m40s -16°50' Scorpius -11.0 31'22"0
Saturn 16h01m40s -18°40' Libra 1.2 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 53° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of