The Moon Visits Jupiter And Saturn
Look up at the sky on June 7, 8, and 9, 2020, to see the Moon and two bright superior planets – Jupiter and Saturn – shining together. Both early risers and night owls will be able to catch the trio. Read on to find more information and observing tips.
How to see Jupiter and Saturn
The gas giants of the Solar System – Jupiter and Saturn – are now located nearby on the sky’s dome and will continue their neighborhood throughout this year. In June, you can observe them in the sky from around midnight and until dawn. For observers from Earth, Jupiter appears silvery-white, while Saturn shines with a yellowish light. The ringed planet Saturn will be rising and setting about 15 minutes after Jupiter. Being as bright as a 1st-magnitude star, Jupiter is about 15 times brighter than Saturn. Although Jupiter has more chances to be noticed first, both planets will be bright enough to be easily visible to the naked eye under dark clear skies.
To know where to look to find Jupiter and Saturn in the sky and to determine the optimal viewing time for your location, use the stargazing app Star Walk 2.
Close Approach of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn
On Sunday night into Monday morning, June 7 to 8, and on Monday night into Tuesday morning, June 8 to 9, both the king planet Jupiter and the ringed Saturn will be close to our natural satellite. The trio will shine between the constellations Capricornus and Sagittarius. Positioned close together, the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn will create a magnificent naked-eye sight and offer an amazing photo opportunity.
Messier 75, Saturn's rings and moons
While you don’t need a telescope or binoculars to see Jupiter and Saturn on these nights, optical instruments can help you take a closer look at planets and spot some other objects. Thus, even a small telescope will show Saturn's rings and some of its moons, especially the largest one, called Titan.
A globular cluster of stars in the constellation Sagittarius – Messier 75 (M75, NGC 6864) – can be found between the two superior planets. With binoculars and small telescopes, M75 should be easily visible as a small, fuzzy patch under dark and clear skies.