Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2016 Sep 8

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°46' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 19:51 (GMT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 5 minutes after the Sun at 22:34.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.7, and Saturn at mag 1.1, 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 16h37m00s -16°44' Ophiuchus -11.7 29'41"3
Saturn 16h34m50s -20°28' Ophiuchus 1.1 16"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 83° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of