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Jupiter at solar conjunction

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Jupiter
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The sky at

Jupiter will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, Jupiter will appear at a separation of only 0°47' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, Jupiter will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 6.01 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If Jupiter could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 32.1 arcsec in diameter.

Over following weeks and months, Jupiter will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2012 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Jupiter 03h23m10s +17°45' Aries 32.1"
Sun 03h22m +18°31' Aries 31'39"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 13 May 2012
Sunrise
05:58
Sunset
20:14
Twilight ends
22:01
Twilight begins
04:11

22-day old moon
Waning Crescent

43%

22 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:23 12:08 18:52
Venus 07:31 15:15 22:58
Moon 02:04 07:44 13:24
Mars 13:48 20:24 03:03
Jupiter 06:03 13:07 20:10
Saturn 17:33 23:14 04:59
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

13 May 2012  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
02 Dec 2012  –  Jupiter at opposition
19 Jun 2013  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
05 Jan 2014  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

None available.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme