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°53' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 21:50, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 04:04, 62° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:44, 46° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.2, and Jupiter at mag -2.3, both in the constellation Leo.

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 09h34m30s +10°04' Leo -12.2 29'33"5
Jupiter 09h40m00s +14°46' Leo -2.3 40"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 116° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 11 December 2014
Sunrise
07:02
Sunset
16:10
Twilight ends
17:52
Twilight begins
05:21

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

72%

19 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:18 11:44 16:09
Venus 08:00 12:27 16:54
Moon 21:34 03:26 10:16
Mars 10:09 14:53 19:38
Jupiter 21:01 04:04 11:03
Saturn 05:15 10:10 15:04
All times shown in EST.

Source

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.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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