Backyard Observatory

Saturn, Jupiter & the Moon Form a Triangle in the Sky Tonight. Here's How to See It.

Yeah, any three objects make a triangle, but they'll be close together.

Jupiter saturn moon close pass
Alan Dyer/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We're working our way toward a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in December. It'll be the first one since 2000, and the closest one since 1623. If you believed there'd be no math on this test, that's 397 years ago. It'll be an outstanding sight. Because of that looming celestial event, we're getting some fun stargazing events along the way. 

Since August, we've been getting a monthly treat in the form of a conjunction between Saturn and the moon and a conjunction between Jupiter and the moon taking place within a day of each other. It's happening again this month. On the night of October 22, you'll be able to see a close pass between Saturn, Jupiter, and the slender crescent of the moon. 

It will be an easy formation to spot because all three orbs are visible to the naked eye and among the brightest night-sky objects. You won't even have to head out to the countryside as you might with meteor showers. They're bright enough to be seen even in the face of the heavy light pollution of most cities. 

The close pass will have the three objects forming a small triangle in the sky that night. The close pass between Jupiter and the moon will take place at 1:26 pm EDT, per In the Sky. Of course, that's in the middle of the day, so you won't be able to see those two at their closest. The close pass between Saturn and the moon will arrive at 12:15 am on October 23. That's after Saturn falls below the horizon.

Still, the trio will be visible near each other early in the night, making for a beautiful formation in the south-southwestern sky. You'll just want to catch them before 11 pm EDT, when Jupiter and the moon will set, per In the Sky. Saturn is going to set about half an hour later. While you're out there, keep an eye out for bright Mars, which will be glowing in the eastern sky. No, the weather isn't perfect any longer, but it's not that bad, and this one is going to be easy to catch sight of. 

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in a stream the northern lights from home. If you're just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.