The Moon and Saturn

This evening, July 15th, the Moon will pass quite close to Saturn. For viewers in the islands the pair will be closest as it grows dark, slowly separating as the night advances.

Saturn
Saturn on April 15th, 2016

At sunset the two will be separated by about 40 arcminutes. Keep in mind that is a center to center distance, considering the size of the moon this puts the planet about 25 arcminutes from the limb of the Moon, close enough to appear in the field of a medium power eyepiece in most amateur telescopes.

Viewers in the South Pacific and Australia will be able to view an occultation of Saturn by the Moon this evening.

As the Moon is also quite close to full it will be rising at sunset, thus a good eastern horizon is desirable to see this event early in the evening. Look for a bright, slightly yellowish star-like object just north of the Moon as it rises.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i.

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