Opposition

by Dominic Ford, Editor
Opposition

Mars at opposition in 2001, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope

An astronomical body is said to be at opposition when it makes its closest approach to the point directly opposite to the Sun in the night sky.

This means that the object will appear highest in the sky at around midnight, local time, and will be above the horizon for much of the night.

For objects which orbit further out in the Solar System than the Earth – almost all bodies other than Mercury and Venus – this configuration happens when the Solar System is aligned such that the object lies in a straight line with the Earth and the Sun, the Earth being in the middle.

Consequently, this is also the time when the object makes its closest approach to the Earth, making it appear at its largest and brightest in the night sky.

List of oppositions

The table below lists the dates when objects are at opposition in 2019, computed from NASA's DE405 planetary ephemeris. To show dates in other years, use the dropdown control.

List objects at opposition in year

Date Object Declination
Date Object Declination
05 Feb 2019 14:24 UTC532 Herculina at opposition28°35'NMore information »
26 Mar 2019 02:29 UTC136472 Makemake at opposition24°14'NMore information »
06 Apr 2019 00:00 UTC7 Iris at opposition13°13'SMore information »
07 Apr 2019 00:00 UTC2 Pallas at opposition17°00'NMore information »
16 Apr 2019 07:58 UTC136108 Haumea at opposition16°41'NMore information »
12 May 2019 14:24 UTC8 Flora at opposition9°53'SMore information »
15 May 2019 02:24 UTC11 Parthenope at opposition11°22'SMore information »
21 May 2019 02:24 UTC20 Massalia at opposition19°25'SMore information »
29 May 2019 10:17 UTC1 Ceres at opposition17°46'SMore information »
10 Jun 2019 15:17 UTCJupiter at opposition22°25'SMore information »
02 Jul 2019 21:35 UTC18 Melpomene at opposition9°02'SMore information »
09 Jul 2019 16:55 UTCSaturn at opposition22°02'SMore information »
14 Jul 2019 21:29 UTC134340 Pluto at opposition22°04'SMore information »
07 Aug 2019 12:00 UTC16 Psyche at opposition15°13'SMore information »
12 Aug 2019 21:35 UTC15 Eunomia at opposition5°56'SMore information »
17 Aug 2019 14:24 UTC39 Laetitia at opposition9°49'SMore information »
06 Sep 2019 09:35 UTC135 Hertha at opposition6°36'SMore information »
10 Sep 2019 07:10 UTCNeptune at opposition6°05'SMore information »
28 Sep 2019 07:11 UTC21 Lutetia at opposition3°25'SMore information »
13 Oct 2019 12:00 UTC29 Amphitrite at opposition11°32'NMore information »
17 Oct 2019 17:10 UTC136199 Eris at opposition1°51'SMore information »
26 Oct 2019 02:24 UTC9 Metis at opposition6°16'NMore information »
28 Oct 2019 08:02 UTCUranus at opposition12°28'NMore information »
12 Nov 2019 16:48 UTC4 Vesta at opposition8°26'NMore information »

Fairfield

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41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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