Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2016 Mar 29

Dominic Ford – originally published on

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 17° above the horizon. They will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 02:37, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:33, 17° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 06:20, 16° above your southern horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.2, and Saturn at mag 1.0, 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 17h02m00s -17°29' Ophiuchus -12.2 29'56"1
Saturn 17h00m40s -20°58' Ophiuchus 1.0 17"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 112° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of