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Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 0°54' of each other. The Moon will be 19 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:39, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:13, 72° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:55, 62° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.2; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 Jupiter 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 05h00m20s +20°59' Taurus -12.2 29'30"4
Jupiter 05h00m20s +21°54' Taurus -2.6 42"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 116° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 05 October 2012
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


19 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:41 14:03 19:24
Venus 03:51 10:31 17:10
Moon 22:20 04:47 12:02
Mars 11:05 15:57 20:49
Jupiter 21:50 05:13 12:33
Saturn 08:33 14:05 19:38
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

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

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