The moon meets Saturn on Sunday (March 19) with the two celestial bodies sharing the same right ascension, an arrangement called a conjunction.
The thin sliver of the moon, which will be in its last quarter phase, will pass south of Saturn for 3°35′ according to In the sky. (opens in a new tab) Both the moon and the gas giant, which is the second largest planet in the solar system, will be in the constellation of Aquarium during the conjunction.
Moon it will have a magnitude of -9.8, with the prefix minus indicating a particularly bright object in the sky, while Saturn will have a magnitude of 0.8. The best time to view the conjunction will be around 6:30 a.m. local time, and skywatchers will need a clear horizon and clear skies to make out the pair in morning twilight. Just be careful to get your optics away from the horizon before the sun rises!
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During the conjunction, the Moon and Saturn will still be too far apart to be seen together with a telescope. Skywatchers could spot the conjunction with binoculars.
According In the sky (opens in a new tab), the conjunction will be visible from New York City around 6:02 am EDT (1002 GMT), just after the moon and Saturn have risen over the horizon. The conjunction will remain visible until around 4:42 pm EDT (20:42 GMT) when the moon sets. This means that skywatchers wishing to view the conjunction must take the precautions associated with daytime astronomy, in particular not looking directly at the sun, either through optics or with the naked eye.
While the moon dominates Saturn in the night sky in terms of size, with an angular size of 32’55″7 compared to Saturn’s angular size of 15″5 at conjunction, the situation could hardly be more different at reality. Solar system.
Saturn is so large, with a diameter of more than 72,000 miles (116,000 km), that NASA says it would take nine Earths to circle it at the gas giant’s equator. This means that if Earth were the size of a nickel, Saturn would be the size of a volleyball. Meanwhile, the moon’s diameter is just 2,159 miles (3,475 kilometers), making it a quarter of the size of Earth. That means it would take 36 moons to circle Saturn.
Of course, Saturn is no stranger to moons, having at least 83 own! In addition to this, the gas giant has another 20 moons waiting to be confirmed. The largest of Saturn’s moons is the giant moon. Titanbigger than the planet Mercury. Titan, the largest of at least 150 known moons in the solar system, dwarfs Earth’s moon with a diameter of about 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers).
This measurement may seem a bit controversial considering Jupiter’s moon. ganymede it actually has a diameter of around 3,270 miles (5,270 kilometers). Titan beats out Ganymede as the largest moon because this measurement only takes into account its solid body and does not include its atmosphere that spans hundreds of miles!
If you expect to see the moon or Saturn during the conjunction, our guide to the best telescopes help to. If you want to catch the two celestial objects together, our guide to the best binoculars is a great place to start.
If you’re looking to take photos of the night sky in general, check out our guide on how to photograph the moonas well as our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you take a picture of Saturn or the moon and want to share your photo(s) with Space.com readers, please send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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