Moon in Conjunction With Venus, Saturn, Jupiter
Three spectacular conjunctions of the Moon and planets will occur this October. Not to miss these naked-eye visible astronomy events, read our article.
- What does a conjunction with the Moon mean?
- How to see a Moon-planet conjunction?
- October Conjunctions
- September conjunctions
- August conjunctions
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.
October 9: Moon-Venus conjunction
On October 9, 2021, at 18:35 GMT (2:35 p.m. EDT), the conjunction of the 3-days-old Moon and brilliant Venus will occur. This is going to be a wonderful scene — the 9% illuminated thin lunar disk full with Earthshine will be passing 2°51' to the north of -4.2 magnitude Venus. You'll find both objects in the constellation Scorpius. If you use a pair of binoculars for observations, you’ll discern details on the Moon’s not illuminated part.
Don’t worry if you miss the exact moment of conjunction — observers from both hemispheres most likely will see a close approach of our natural satellite and the brilliant planet. Those from the Southern Hemisphere will have better observation conditions since Venus lies higher in their skies. For the Northern latitudes, the planet stays relatively low above the horizon in the sunset direction.
October 14: Moon-Saturn conjunction
On October 14, 2021, at 07:08 GMT (03:08 a.m. EDT), the 60% illuminated Moon will pass 3°56' to the south of the gas giant Saturn. Less bright than Venus, Saturn is still visible with a naked eye, shining at a magnitude of 0.3; spot the planet near the Moon in the constellation Capricornus.
Saturn and Jupiter appeared extremely close to each other in December 2020 — this event was even called a “great conjunction.” Since then, Jupiter has been moving away from Saturn, but for now, they appear close in the sky. So whenever the Saturn-Moon conjunction occurs, the Moon-Jupiter one will not be long in coming.
October 15: Moon-Jupiter conjunction
Just a day later, on October 15, 2021, at 10:02 GMT (06:02 a.m. EDT), the Moon will pass close to another gas giant — Jupiter. With a magnitude of -2.8, the planet appears very bright, brighter than all the stars. The duo will also be placed in the constellation Capricornus, at the apparent separation of 3°57'. As the Moon will be near the gas giants for several days, start your observations in advance and look for the planets near our bright natural satellite on the nights of October 13 to 15.
September 8: Moon-Mercury conjunction
On September 8, 2021, at 20:18 GMT (4:18 p.m. EDT), the Moon and Mercury will meet in the constellation Virgo. This will be a relatively distant conjunction since the separation between the celestial objects will be 6°31'. For this reason, you should observe the Moon-Mercury conjunction with the naked eye. Don’t use a telescope or binoculars for the observation — a usual field of view of amateur telescopes is from 1° to about 5° (here is how to calculate your telescope’s field of view.
On September 8, the Moon will be 1-day old, so only 3% of the lunar disk will be visible. Shining at a magnitude of 0.0, Mercury will be a difficult target for those who live in the Northern Hemisphere — the sunset glow will hide the smallest planet from our view. Observers from the Southern Hemisphere, don’t miss your chance! For you, the planet will be in its best evening apparition of this year throughout this September. Read more about Mercury in the night sky in our previous article.
September 10: Moon-Venus conjunction
On September 10, 2021, at 02:08 GMT (September 9, 10:08 p.m. EDT), the 15% illuminated Moon will pass 4°04' to the north of dazzling Venus. The beautiful planet is one of the easiest objects to find in the night sky; on the day of conjunction, it will shine at a magnitude of -4.1 in the constellation Virgo together with the Moon.
September 17: Moon-Saturn conjunction
The next conjunction will occur on September 17, 2021, at 02:33 GMT (September 16, 10:33 p.m. EDT). Our bright natural satellite will pass 3°45' to the south of Saturn — both celestial objects will be placed in the constellation Capricornus. The gas giant will be the faintest of the planets visible in the night sky, with a magnitude of only 0.2. Despite this, a keen eye should notice the ringed planet near the 87% illuminated Moon.
September 18: Moon-Jupiter conjunction
If for some reason, you missed the spectacular conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter in August, this is your second chance! On September 18, 2021, at 06:54 GMT (2:54 a.m. EDT), the almost Full (94% illuminated) Moon and bright Jupiter will meet again in our skies. Since August, Jupiter has slightly lost its brightness but remains the second-brightest planet after Venus — the gas planet shines at a magnitude of -2.8.
The bright duo is a perfect observation target due to their position in the sky. Jupiter climbs high into the sky as the darkness falls and remains visible together with the Moon until around 3 a.m. local time. Look for them in the constellation Capricornus and remember to check the weather in advance to make sure that the clouds won’t interfere with your observations.
August 10: Moon-Mars conjunction
On August 10, 2021, at 00:42 GMT (or August 9, at 8:42 p.m. EDT), the Moon will pass 4°17' to the north of Mars. At the night of conjunction, the thin, only 4% illuminated Moon will shine at a magnitude of -8.7; the reddish Mars will be at a magnitude of -2.9. Both sky objects will be placed in the constellation Leo. The Moon and Mars will be too widely separated, so don’t use a telescope for observation — try a pair of binoculars or naked eyes instead.
By the way, it might be your last chance to observe the Red Planet this year! The planet is already quite faint and keeps fading in the Sun’s glare, moving towards its solar conjunction that will take place on October 8, 2021.
August 11: Moon-Venus conjunction
Only a day later, on August 11, 2021, at 06:59 GMT (02:59 a.m. EDT), the conjunction of the Moon and Venus will occur — the Moon will pass 4°17' to the north of Venus. Our natural satellite gains brightness rapidly, and on the day of the close approach to Venus, the Moon will be shining at a magnitude of -10.0. Venus, in its turn, is the most prominent planet in the sky and will have a magnitude of -4.0. Look for them in the constellation Virgo.
August 20: Moon-Saturn conjunction
The next conjunction will take place on August 20, 2021, at 22:15 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT). This time the 95% illuminated Moon will meet with Saturn in the constellation Capricornus, lying 3°42' to the planet’s south. The celestial bodies will shine at magnitudes of -12.6 and 0.2, respectively.
Saturn just recently reached an opposition, which means that the planet is at its brightest of the year now. The planet is almost opposite the Sun in the Earth’s sky and is visible most of the night. Saturn isn’t as noticeable to the unaided eye as the next planet on our list, Jupiter; however, when observed through a telescope, Saturn provides a truly stunning view.
August 22: Moon-Jupiter conjunction
On August 22, 2021, at 04:56 GMT (12:56 a.m. EDT), you’ll have a chance to spot bright Jupiter near the Full Blue Moon in the constellation Capricornus; our natural satellite will pass 3°57' to the south of the gas giant.
Jupiter will also reach an opposition on August 20, 2021, shining at its brightest. It will be much more luminous than Saturn, shining at a magnitude of -2.9. Even the 100% illuminated Moon won’t outshine its glare.
This was all you needed to know about the planetary conjunctions with the Moon, including the related upcoming events. If you enjoyed the article, share it on social media.
Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!