Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
Venus and Neptune will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 0°41' to the north of Neptune.
From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:50 (EDT) – 1 hour and 47 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 15° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:19.
Venus will be at mag -4.2, and Neptune at mag 7.9, both in the constellation Aquarius.
The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Venus and Neptune 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 45° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.
|The sky on 12 April 2014|
13 days old
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.
|26 Aug 2013||– Neptune at opposition|
|29 Aug 2014||– Neptune at opposition|
|31 Aug 2015||– Neptune at opposition|
|02 Sep 2016||– Neptune at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.