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1 Ceres at solar conjunction

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Dwarf Planets feed

Objects: 1 Ceres
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The sky at

1 Ceres will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, 1 Ceres will appear at a separation of only 7° from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, 1 Ceres will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 3.95 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If 1 Ceres could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 0.0 arcsec in diameter.

Over following weeks and months, 1 Ceres will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of 1 Ceres across the sky in 2016 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of 1 Ceres at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
1 Ceres 23h12m50s -13°38' Aquarius 0.0"
Sun 23h00m -06°21' Aquarius 32'15"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 03 March 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent


24 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:24 11:22 16:20
Venus 05:58 10:49 15:40
Moon 02:54 07:34 12:13
Mars 00:33 05:11 09:48
Jupiter 18:11 00:45 07:14
Saturn 01:57 06:22 10:47
All times shown in PST.


Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.


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

03 Mar 2016  –  1 Ceres at solar conjunction
21 Oct 2016  –  1 Ceres at opposition
05 Jun 2017  –  1 Ceres at solar conjunction
31 Jan 2018  –  1 Ceres at opposition

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