See the moon approach Saturn on August 9 and 10

Moon approach Saturn: Star chart with moon on 2 days and Saturn on the left.
Watch the moon approach Saturn! Both Saturn and the waxing gibbous moon lie on or near the ecliptic, the same path the sun travels during the day (shown on our charts as a green line). Saturn is brighter than all the stars and golden in color. Saturn will reach opposition on August 14. Chart via John Jardine Goss / EarthSky.

Watch the moon approach Saturn

A bright waxing gibbous moon will be closing in on Saturn on the evenings of August 9 and 10, 2022.

On August 10 at 17:00 UTC, the moon reaches perigee, or its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. At that time, the moon will be 223,586 miles (359,828 kilometers) from Earth. As a matter of fact, this perigee falls about a day and a half before the full supermoon at 1:36 UTC on August 12, 2022. While a supermoon doesn’t look bigger to the eye alone, it does look brighter.

Saturn is nearing opposition

Then, on August 11, the moon comes to within eight moon-diameters (four degrees) of Saturn. Although Saturn is shining at a +0.3 magnitude, this magical ringed world still might be difficult to see in the moon’s glare. If so, try placing your finger over the bright moon for a better view of Saturn, the most distant world that you can easily see with the eye alone.

Additionally, Saturn reaches opposition on August 14, 2022. Earth sweeps between the sun and Saturn on August 14, placing the ringed planet opposite the sun in our sky.

Let the moon guide you to Capricornus

The waxing gibbous moon and Saturn can help you pick out the faint constellation Capricornus the Sea-goat. Capricornus is one of the constellations of the zodiac.

The faint stars of Capricornus form an arrowhead, but they might be hard to see with the moon nearby. That’s because the stars making up the arrowhead are only 3rd and 4th magnitude.

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

Bottom line: Look for the bright waxing gibbous moon approaching Saturn on the evenings of August 9 and 10, 2022. The moon reaches perigee on August 10, the day before the August 11, 2022, full supermoon.

August 9, 2022

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