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Close approach of the Moon and Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 0°23' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 10° above the horizon. They will become visible around 20:39 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 10° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 25 minutes after the Sun at 21:42.

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 -9.9; and Venus will be at mag -4.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Leo.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 10h03m40s +08°55' Leo -9.9 29'43"3
Venus 10h04m10s +09°18' Leo -4.5 42"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 34° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 18 July 2015
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


2 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:50 12:26 20:01
Venus 08:26 15:04 21:42
Moon 08:12 14:52 21:32
Mars 04:33 12:10 19:46
Jupiter 07:54 14:50 21:46
Saturn 15:50 20:45 01:44
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

12 Jul 2015  –  Venus at greatest brightness
08 Aug 2015  –  Venus at aphelion
15 Aug 2015  –  Venus at inferior solar conjunction
20 Sep 2015  –  Venus at greatest brightness

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