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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°53' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 20:26, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:04, 70° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:09, 35° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.4; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.7. 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 04h54m40s +20°51' Taurus -12.4 29'25"1
Jupiter 04h54m40s +21°45' Taurus -2.7 45"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 145° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 01 November 2012
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:33 14:07 18:41
Venus 04:27 10:29 16:30
Moon 19:52 02:25 09:44
Mars 10:45 15:17 19:49
Jupiter 19:35 03:05 10:30
Saturn 06:49 12:15 17:41
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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