Four lunar-planetary conjunctions will occur this April. Read this article to learn how to see them in the sky.
What does a conjunction with the Moon mean?
In astronomy, a conjunction is an apparent event that occurs when two or more space objects are visible very close to each other. In general, conjunctions take place between the Moon and planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn).
Obviously, planets don’t get closer to the Moon in space — it would indeed cause a significant impact on the Solar System. The space objects only seem to be close in the sky for the observers from the Earth.
How to see a Moon-planet conjunction?
Here is what you need to know in advance:
- Space objects rise and set time for your location. There is a possibility that an object will rise above the horizon during the daytime, so you won’t be able to see it at all.
- The Moon phase. The fully illuminated lunar disk is, without doubt, an exciting view, but it also hides some relatively faint objects that are close to it.
- The space objects’ trajectory across the sky. It will help you to visualize the future movement of space objects.
Remember that depending on your timezone, you might miss the exact moment of conjunction, but you still have a chance to catch a planet close to the Moon.
Use our stargazing apps to quickly learn all the necessary information, like an object’s set and rise times or the Moon phase. Track the space objects’ path across the sky over time to predict their position for your location or find out the name of any bright dot above your head.
April 24: Moon-Saturn conjunction
On April 24, at 20:56 GMT (4:56 p.m. EDT), the Moon and Saturn will come together to form the conjunction in the constellation Capricornus. The objects will be placed within 4.6° from each other, with our natural satellite shining at a magnitude of -11.5, and Saturn — at a magnitude of 0.6. The Moon and Saturn will be too far from each other to be seen together through a telescope, but you can try to view them with the naked eye or with a pair of binoculars.
April 25: Moon-Mars conjunction
On April 25, at 22:06 GMT (6:06 p.m. EDT), the Moon will meet Mars in the constellation Aquarius. The Red Planet (magnitude 0.9) and the Moon (magnitude -11.1) will be bright enough to observe with the unaided eye. Find them in the night sky within 4.1° from each other. Both objects will stay quite close together for about three hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to observe the bright duo.
April 27: Moon-Venus conjunction
On April 27, at 01:51 GMT (9:51 a.m. EDT), the Moon will draw closer to Venus; the apparent distance between them will equal 4°. The Moon will be in the waning crescent phase, shining at a magnitude of -10.6, and Venus will join it at a magnitude of -4.1. The about 10% illuminated lunar disc will be harder to notice with the naked eye, but you can easily spot it with binoculars. Find both objects with the help of our Sky Tonight app in the constellation Aquarius.
April 27: Moon-Jupiter conjunction
After meeting Venus, the Moon will reach a conjunction with Jupiter on April 27, at 08:23 GMT (4:23 a.m. EDT). The apparent distance between our natural satellite and Jupiter will be just 3.8°. The waning crescent Moon will be shining at a magnitude of -10.4 in the constellation Aquarius. Its partner Jupiter will stay in the neighboring constellation Pisces, shining at a magnitude of -2.1. Both objects could be seen through binoculars or the naked eye, but will be too far from each other to observe them together through a telescope.
Text Credit: Vito Technology, Inc.