Conjunction between Venus and Saturn

2016 Jan 9

Dominic Ford – originally published on

Venus and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 0°05' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 13° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 05:17 (GMT), 2 hours and 47 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 13° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:37.

At the moment of closest approach, Venus will be at mag -4.4, and Saturn at mag 1.2, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

At closest approach, the pair will be close enough to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or a through pair of binoculars.

The precise positions of Venus and Saturn at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Venus 16h42m00s -20°29' Ophiuchus -4.4 13"7
Saturn 16h42m00s -20°34' Ophiuchus 1.2 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 36° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of