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 Ceres

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon and 1 Ceres will make a close approach, passing within 0°03' of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:59 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 16° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 2 minutes after the Sun at 20:43.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -10.5, and 1 Ceres at mag 9.0, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and 1 Ceres 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 15h05m50s -14°46' Libra -10.5 30'42"4
1 Ceres 15h05m50s -14°42' Libra 9.0 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 43° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 27 September 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:01 14:12 19:23
Venus 06:07 12:19 18:30
Moon 10:06 15:19 20:32
Mars 12:21 16:56 21:31
Jupiter 02:34 09:38 16:43
Saturn 10:33 15:39 20:45
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.

Related news

15 Apr 2014  –  1 Ceres at opposition
25 Jul 2015  –  1 Ceres at opposition
21 Oct 2016  –  1 Ceres at opposition
31 Jan 2018  –  1 Ceres 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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