The Moon and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 5°13' to the north of Mercury. The Moon will be 1 days old.
From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 17:29 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 11° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 26 minutes after the Sun at 18:36.
The Moon will be at mag -8.9, and Mercury at mag -0.9, both in the constellation Aquarius.
The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mercury around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 19° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.
|The sky on 11 February 2013|
1 day old
All times shown in EST.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|18 Jan 2013||– Mercury at superior solar conjunction|
|16 Feb 2013||– Mercury at greatest elongation east|
|16 Feb 2013||– Mercury at dichotomy|
|16 Feb 2013||– Mercury at perihelion|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.