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, Venus and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Venus and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 5°38' of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From Seattle, the trio will become visible around 21:36 (PST), 20° above your western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 36 minutes after the Sun at 23:47.

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; Venus will be at mag -4.4; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.0. The trio will lie in the constellation Cancer.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

At around the same time, the trio will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 08h59m00s +12°57' Cancer -10.5 30'01"8
Venus 09h04m10s +18°27' Cancer -4.4 27"8
Jupiter 09h12m30s +17°04' Cancer -2.0 34"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 45° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 20 January 2022
Sunrise
07:47
Sunset
16:51
Twilight ends
18:40
Twilight begins
05:58

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

91%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:49 12:40 17:30
Venus 06:10 10:59 15:48
Moon 18:36 02:16 09:42
Mars 05:47 09:55 14:04
Jupiter 09:19 14:34 19:49
Saturn 08:31 13:14 17:57
All times shown in PST.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

06 Jun 2015  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
18 Oct 2015  –  Venus at highest altitude in morning sky
26 Oct 2015  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
12 Jan 2017  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

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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