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Close approach of the Moon and Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 3°34' of each other. The Moon will be 26 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:14 (EDT) – 3 hours and 36 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 36° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:32.

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The Moon will be at mag -10.5; and Venus will be at mag -4.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the pair will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h29m30s +14°10' Cancer -10.5 30'47"7
Venus 08h33m50s +17°36' Cancer -4.2 18"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 44° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 12 September 2012
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent


26 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:58 13:16 19:33
Venus 03:13 10:16 17:19
Moon 03:18 10:10 17:02
Mars 11:15 16:23 21:31
Jupiter 23:17 06:40 13:59
Saturn 09:51 15:26 21:02
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

07 Sep 2012  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
31 Oct 2012  –  Venus at perihelion
21 Feb 2013  –  Venus at aphelion
28 Mar 2013  –  Venus at superior solar conjunction

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