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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 1°34' of each other. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Seattle, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 14° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:31 (PDT) – 2 hours and 18 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 14° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:24.

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The Moon will be at mag -9.6; and Venus will be at mag -4.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Libra.

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 15h27m10s -18°57' Libra -9.6 33'16"0
Venus 15h28m00s -17°23' Libra -4.0 11"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 25° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 11 December 2012
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent


28 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:06 10:42 15:19
Venus 05:33 10:16 14:59
Moon 05:53 10:27 15:00
Mars 09:56 14:08 18:20
Jupiter 15:33 23:18 07:07
Saturn 04:00 09:11 14:21
All times shown in PST.


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

31 Oct 2012  –  Venus at perihelion
20 Feb 2013  –  Venus at aphelion
28 Mar 2013  –  Venus at superior solar conjunction
31 Mar 2013  –  Venus at greatest brightness

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