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 and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed

Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°57' of each other. The Moon will be 13 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 19:40 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 19° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:25, 57° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 06:06, when they sink to 8° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Jupiter at mag -2.5, both in the constellation Leo.

The pair 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 two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 11h09m30s +04°53' Leo -12.5 29'41"7
Jupiter 11h12m50s +06°45' 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 Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 21 March 2016
Sunrise
07:10
Sunset
19:21
Twilight ends
20:51
Twilight begins
05:40

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

98%

12 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:13 13:10 19:07
Venus 06:29 12:04 17:38
Moon 18:03 00:21 06:08
Mars 00:29 05:24 10:18
Jupiter 17:56 00:25 06:50
Saturn 01:22 06:13 11:03
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

08 Mar 2016, 05:46 EST  –  Jupiter at opposition
07 Apr 2017, 17:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 May 2018, 20:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Jun 2019, 11:17 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme