Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2017 Jan 24

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°36' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 05:15 (BST), 2 hours and 35 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 12° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:25.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -10.3, 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 17h33m40s -18°24' Ophiuchus -10.3 29'44"4
Saturn 17h32m30s -22°00' Ophiuchus 1.2 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 40° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of