Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2016 Feb 3

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°28' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 03:50 (GMT), 3 hours and 48 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 16° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:14.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.1, and Saturn at mag 1.2, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

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 16h53m20s -17°23' Ophiuchus -11.1 30'25"5
Saturn 16h51m50s -20°50' Ophiuchus 1.2 15"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 60° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.


The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org

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