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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 1°23' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:08, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 04:43, 51° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:54, 41° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Leo.

They 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 11h34m10s +02°37' Leo -12.1 29'41"6
Jupiter 11h35m50s +03°56' Leo -2.2 38"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 106° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 31 December 2015
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


20 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:30 13:10 17:51
Venus 04:12 09:05 13:57
Moon 23:06 04:27 10:44
Mars 01:25 06:53 12:22
Jupiter 22:22 04:43 11:01
Saturn 05:01 09:44 14:28
All times shown in EST.


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

26 Aug 2015  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
08 Mar 2016  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Sep 2016  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
17 Feb 2017  –  Jupiter at aphelion

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