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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°36' of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 19:45, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:25, 56° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:36, 13° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.5. 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 11h22m40s +03°51' Leo -12.6 29'44"8
Jupiter 11h24m40s +05°23' Leo -2.5 43"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 164° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 23 February 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:02 11:02 16:03
Venus 05:41 10:40 15:39
Moon 19:11 00:41 07:09
Mars 00:29 05:32 10:35
Jupiter 19:00 01:25 07:46
Saturn 02:06 06:57 11:48
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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