Orion Bear Astronomy only promotes conjunctions when two objects will appear to be easily seen together in a telescope. This is one of those events!
On the night of July 15-16, Our Moon will be very close to Saturn in the sky, less than a degree apart! You’ll be able to cover both objects with your thumb! This night’s conjunction is ideal for North American sky watchers!
In the southern sky as seen from North America, the full moon will be obvious, while Saturn will be visible to the naked eye as a bright star right next to it.
To understand what’s going on, it helps to have an idea what conjunctions in the sky are and why they happen, which you can do so by clicking this link. While the full moon will be close to 240,000 miles away from Earth, Saturn will be close to 800 million. Conjunctions are semi regular, but when objects appear rather close is when such events should be promoted!
While throughout the night the two objects will appear close, you will want to check out this close meeting starting at 10:30 pm Pacific Time/ 1:30 am Eastern Time. By then, the Moon will be nearing its closest to Saturn, and the objects will be visible at the same time through binoculars or a telescope at LOW magnification (35x or less)! They’ll be at their closest around 11:30 pm Pacific/ 2:30 am Eastern.
As an advisory to beginners, if you do look through a telescope, remember that a full moon will appear very bright due to the focused light, and while you won’t suffer any eye damage, you will still “feel” the light of the Moon.
Also remember that telescopes invert the image, and if you are looking through a Newtonian with a shorter focal length, the image will be upside down – remember that in case you can’t find Saturn next to the Moon!
Thank you for reading this article from Orion Bear Astronomy – bringing the wonders of the heavens to you!
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