On January 14, 2024, the Moon will be 3 days old and it will share the same right ascension with Saturn, passing 2°08′ to the south of Saturn.
From Perth, the pair will be visible from soon after the Moon rises at 08:38, until soon before it sets that evening at 21:42. Take great care if trying to make daytime observations of the Moon when the Sun is above the horizon.
The Moon will be at mag -10.5, and Saturn at mag 0.8, both in the constellation Aquarius. Although the pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, they will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
Use the Stellarium image above as a guide. To find out more about what to see in the night sky, grab a copy of the latest Astronomy Australia almanac at Quasar Publishing.
When to look: After sunset, January 14
Which direction to look: West
Saturn’s rings are enormous — great rings of dust, ice, and rock stretching almost 300,000km from the gas giant — but they’re also surprisingly thin in places. Because of a quirk of how the rings orbit Saturn’s equator, on a tilt with the planet, every few years the rings appear to disappear because from our viewpoint on Earth we’re seeing them edge-on. Then, slowly but surely, over a course of months they come back into view again.
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There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action!