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30 July 2010 Mars-Saturn Conjunction

Posted: July 8th, 2010, 10:16 pm
by Christopher K.
The red planet and the ringed beauty will be about 1.75 degrees apart and visible to the unaided eye in the constellation Virgo at about 8:30pm Baton Rouge time on this night. Mars will be about 25 degrees up in the west at that time, with Saturn just to its upper right.

Unfortunately, Mars will have a puny angular size of 4.7" while 1.99AU (~298 million kilometers) from the Earth. Saturn will have an angular size of 16" while 10.1AU (~1.5 billion kilometers) from the Earth. Saturn's rings currently tilt three degrees to our line of sight.

For those who have a good horizon, dazzling -4.2 magnitude Venus, 20" across and 59% illuminated, will be to the pair's lower right eight degrees away and 20 degrees off the horizon.