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Starwatch: the moon heads for Saturn in the early hours

Starwatch: the moon heads for Saturn in the early hours

The moon heads for Saturn this week. The yellow disc of the sixth planet in the solar system can be found near the boundary of Pisces, the fish, and Aquarius, the water bearer, in the early hours of the morning.

The chart shows the view looking south-east from London at 03.00 BST on 27 June.

On this day the moon will lie to the west of Saturn and will be just over 20 days old. It will be approaching its last quarter phase, with about 70% of its visible surface illuminated. The conjunction can also be seen the day after, when the moon will have passed the planet and now appear to the east of it.

Observers in the Americas, the Pacific, Australasia and the far east will see a much closer conjunction between the two. From the west coast of the Americas, Saturn will be much closer to the moon as dawn breaks on 27 June. Across the international date line, as 27 June becomes 28 June, the moon will pass in front of Saturn as seen from parts of New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia, and be a very close conjunction from other locations nearby.

Source: theguardian.com