Conjunction between the Moon and Saturn

2017 Apr 16

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 3°13' 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 morning sky. They will become accessible at around 02:26, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:11, 16° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 05:40, 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 Sagittarius.

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 17h49m50s -18°50' Sagittarius -12.2 29'31"5
Saturn 17h49m00s -22°03' Sagittarius 1.0 17"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 119° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of