The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Thu, 19 Dec 2013 at00:45 EST(1194 days ago)
05:45 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 4°55' of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From Newark (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 18:40, when they rise 7° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:20, 71° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 06:54, 19° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Jupiter at mag -2.7, both in the constellation Gemini.

The pair 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.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 07h12m50s +17°31' Gemini -12.5 29'24"8
Jupiter 07h16m00s +22°22' Gemini -2.7 45"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 159° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 19 December 2013
Sunrise: 07:15
Sunset: 16:30
from 05:36
until 18:09

16-day old moon
Age of Moon:
16 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:56 11:29 16:02
Venus 09:18 14:06 18:53
Moon 19:06 01:18 08:24
Mars 00:25 06:27 12:29
Jupiter 17:49 01:20 08:47
Saturn 04:03 09:11 14:20


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

19 Jun 2013, 12:17 EDTJupiter at solar conjunction
05 Jan 2014, 16:01 ESTJupiter at opposition
24 Jul 2014, 16:49 EDTJupiter at solar conjunction
06 Feb 2015, 13:09 ESTJupiter at opposition

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.




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