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Close approach of the Moon and Ceres

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and 1 Ceres will make a close approach, passing within 0°28' of each other. The Moon will be 23 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 23:46 (EST) and reaching an altitude of 62° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:59.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -11.6, and 1 Ceres at mag 8.8, both in the constellation Taurus.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and 1 Ceres around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 05h44m50s +21°01' Taurus -11.6 29'45"6
1 Ceres 05h44m40s +20°33' Taurus 8.8 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 80° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 09 September 2012
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent


23 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:11 12:40 19:09
Venus 02:35 09:48 17:01
Moon 23:49 07:15 14:41
Mars 10:57 16:01 21:04
Jupiter 22:52 06:24 13:54
Saturn 09:38 15:10 20:43
All times shown in EDT.


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

17 Sep 2011  –  1 Ceres at opposition
18 Dec 2012  –  1 Ceres at opposition
21 Sep 2013  –  1 Ceres at perihelion
15 Apr 2014  –  1 Ceres at opposition

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