Starwatch: the moon’s conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter
During this week, we will observe the moon as it moves through the dark sky, transitioning from its first quarter phase to a full moon. Along the way, it will pass by two of the large gas planets in our solar system.
At 9pm BST on October 24th, the chart displays the southward view from London. The partially illuminated moon will be near the distant Saturn, emitting a yellow glow in the Aquarius constellation, which is known for its lack of notable stars.
At this time, the sun will illuminate 79% of the moon’s visible side. After four days, the moon will reach its full phase. It will rise earlier in the evening and be higher in the sky at 9pm BST. This will align it with Jupiter’s brighter white spot.
Although they are similar in size, Jupiter appears much brighter than Saturn due to its closer proximity to Earth and the resulting reflection of more intense light. These two celestial bodies can be easily spotted in the sky from the southern hemisphere.
The two conjunctions will be clearly visible in the northern sky during late evening, from Cape Town, South Africa and Sydney, Australia. They will remain visible for most of the night.