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

Sun, 15 May 2016 at04:23 EDT(677 days ago)
08:23 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°54' of each other. The Moon will be 9 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 20:31 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 58° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:33, 58° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 02:21, when they sink to 8° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.1, and Jupiter at mag -2.2, 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 10h57m20s +06°04' Leo -12.1 29'52"8
Jupiter 10h59m40s +07°53' Leo -2.2 38"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 108° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 15 May 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


9 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:37 12:30 19:22
Venus 05:42 12:42 19:41
Moon 14:47 21:02 02:45
Mars 20:50 01:43 06:31
Jupiter 14:04 20:33 03:05
Saturn 21:32 02:28 07:20
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

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.




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