On Thursday (September 8), the Moon and Saturn will make a close approach to each other in the same right ascension, an event known as a conjunction.
The two objects will pass about 3⁰43 feet apart in the evening sky and will be visible in front of the constellation Capricorn. In the skies of New York, the conjunction will be visible around 19:33 ET (2333 GMT) and will be located in the southeast about 13⁰ above the horizon. (A fist at arm’s length is about 10⁰.)
The Moon and Saturn will reach 33⁰ above the southern horizon around 23:14 ET (03:14 GMT September 9) – the highest point of conjunction – and the event will be visible until about 3:29 ET (07:29 GMT ). ), after which the Moon and Saturn will disappear between the horizon in the southwest.
Related: Night Sky September 2022: What You Can See Tonight [maps]
The conjunction of Saturn – the second largest planet in the solar system – and the Moon is best seen with the naked eye or with binoculars. The telescope is not suitable for observing this event due to the large distance in the sky between the Moon and the gas giant, which exceeds the field of view of the telescope.
During the conjunction, the Moon will have a visual magnitude of 12.7 and Saturn will have a visual magnitude of 0.3.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and one of the five brightest planets in the solar system, including Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter, which can be seen with the naked eye.
Seen from Earth with the naked eye, Saturn looks like a shimmering speck of light, but a small telescope is enough to see one of the planet’s most striking features – its rings. These rings, which are believed to contain materials ranging in size from dust particles to car-sized clumps, enclose some of Saturn’s moons.
Appearing in a telescope as a hazy, brownish-yellowish blob, Saturn’s atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium, with relatively high amounts of methane and ammonia.
Conjunctions like this between the Moon and Saturn are a type of close encounter in the sky between two or more astronomical objects, called an appulsion.
The most frequent type of push is associated with a pair of the Moon with one of the planets of the solar system. This is because the Moon moves through the night sky faster than other cosmological bodies and can therefore pass through each constellation about once a month.
As a result, conjunctions between the Moon and the planets occur about once a month and at about the same time each month.
There is no strict definition of how close two celestial bodies in the sky must come in order to form a push. Astronomy website In The Sky believes the jolt occurred between two objects visible to the naked eye as they pass within 3⁰. (will open in a new tab)and objects visible only through a telescope are applauded if only 1⁰ separates them.
The next conjunction of the Moon and Saturn is scheduled for October 5, 2022.
You can check out our guides to the best binoculars and best telescopes to see the Moon, Saturn or many other celestial objects. If you’re hoping to get a good shot of the duo, check out our recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s Note: If you’re taking a picture of the Moon-Saturn conjunction and would like to share it with Space.com readers, please send your photos, comments, name, and location to spacephotos@.
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