See the moon near Saturn, October 4 and 5

Moon near Saturn: Dot representing Saturn with 2 gibbous moon phases on left and right.
The waxing gibbous moon – headed toward full phase – passes Saturn on the evenings of October 4 and 5, 2022. Look south from the Northern Hemisphere to see the moon near Saturn. Southern Hemisphere? Turn the chart upside down, or try Stellarium for a precise view from your location. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Moon near Saturn, October 4 and 5

Look for the moon on October 4 and 5, 2022. The bright “star” near it is really the ringed planet, golden Saturn. The moon is in a waxing gibbous phase on these nights. It’s in front of the constellation Capricornus the Sea-goat.

From night to night, the moon will be increasing in phase. The moon is headed toward the full phase, marking the Northern Hemisphere’s Hunter’s Moon, which will fall on October 9.

Saturn was at opposition, or opposite the sun in our sky, on August 14, 2022. It was closest and brightest for the year then, but it remains brighter than most stars, shining at magnitude 0.5. That’s only slightly dimmer than at its peak two months ago. Even a small telescope will let you see the rings of Saturn. And afterward, you can turn the telescope on the brilliant moon to spot craters and mountains. Hint: you’ll get a better view of the lunar features before true darkness falls.

Saturn is up until the wee hours now, and so is the moon. If you stay up late, you can watch nearly all night, as Saturn and the moon shift across the sky, traveling along the ecliptic, the same path the sun travels during the day.

Seeing the Sea-goat

And if you identify Saturn on these nights, then wait until a couple days until the moon moves away – then find a nice, dark sky – you’ll be able to make out the arrowhead shape of Capricornus.

Capricornus is a summer constellation for the Northern Hemisphere, which means we won’t be able to watch it much longer. Eventually, Capricornus will set sooner as the sun creeps into this part of the sky, and Capricornus will disappear for the winter.

Chart: Green ecliptic line passing through constellation and Saturn nearby.
As evening falls throughout October 2022, look for bright golden Saturn. It’ll be in the south for the Northern Hemisphere, and in the north as seen from the Southern Hemisphere (from that hemisphere, turn this chart upside down). If you have a dark sky, you can see that Saturn shines in the dim but pretty constellation Capricornus the Sea-goat, which has the shape of an arrowhead. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

Bottom line: You can spot the moon near Saturn on the evenings of October 4 and 5, 2022. The moon is waxing, heading toward full phase.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

October 4, 2022

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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