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

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 4°56' of each other. The Moon will be 12 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:55 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 41° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:30, 74° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 04:09, when they sink below 8° above your north-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.4, and Jupiter at mag -2.6, 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.

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 06h46m00s +18°16' Gemini -12.4 29'25"9
Jupiter 06h48m20s +23°10' Gemini -2.6 43"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 138° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 11 February 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


12 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:14 12:50 18:27
Venus 04:39 09:47 14:56
Moon 15:12 22:12 04:32
Mars 22:40 04:22 10:01
Jupiter 14:05 21:29 04:58
Saturn 00:59 06:08 11:16
All times shown in EST.


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

05 Jan 2014  –  Jupiter at opposition
06 Feb 2015  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 Mar 2016  –  Jupiter at opposition
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter 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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