Close Approach of Venus and Saturn
The closest approach of Venus and Saturn with a separation of less than 2 degrees will occur this week. Let’s find out how and where to see the pair in the sky.
Venus and Saturn are still in the western sky after sunset this week. Venus’s orbit is currently drawing it away from the sun while Saturn is being carried west towards the sun by Earth’s motion. On the evening of Tuesday and Wednesday (December 10-11), very bright ascending Venus will pass less than two finger widths to the lower left (or less than 2 degrees to the celestial south) of medium-bright Saturn. Extremely bright, magnitude -3.9 Venus will greatly outshine magnitude 0.58 Saturn.
The pair will make a gorgeous sight to unaided eyes, in binoculars, and in backyard telescopes at low magnification. Both planets will set shortly before 7 pm local time this week, so look for them low in the southwestern sky just after sunset.
Check the stargazing app Star Walk 2 for the rise and set times for celestial objects and their position in the sky above you.