National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



The Moon Coming Close to Saturn (April, 2017)

April 17, 2017, 3:00, the sky of Tokyo
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We can Find Saturn and the Moon at Dawn

In the southern sky before dawn, the summer constellations and Saturn can be seen. On April 17, the Moon waning towards last quarter approaches to within 3 degrees of Saturn. Saturn rises as if chasing the Moon around 23:00 on the previous day, the 16th, and approaches closest to the Moon around 3:45 before dawn on the morning of the 17th, as seen from Tokyo. After that, it merges into the blue sky as the day dawns after 5 am. You can observe the Moon approaching Saturn several times this year. But this approach, which occurs during the night, is the closest that they can be seen this year. It might be a busy Monday morning, so how about getting up early, observing the medley of the Moon and Saturn, and then getting ready to go out a little more leisurely than usual?

Reference: Ephemeris Computation Office

You can look up the rising and setting times for the Sun and the Moon, and the phases of the Moon in the “Koyomi Station” of the NAOJ Ephemeris Computation Office. You can find the appearance of the Moon and planets as seen from a typical city under “Sky Viewer.”