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 Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mercury will make a close approach, passing within 0°43' of each other. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Washington however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 7° above the horizon at dawn.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -9.4, and Mercury at mag 0.6, both in the constellation Aries.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 Mercury 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 03h11m50s +13°16' Aries -9.4 33'04"2
Mercury 03h11m10s +13°58' Aries 0.6 8"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 24° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 03 June 2016
Sunrise
06:13
Sunset
20:48
Twilight ends
22:39
Twilight begins
04:23

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

4%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:09 11:55 18:42
Venus 06:12 13:27 20:42
Moon 05:27 12:15 19:03
Mars 19:24 00:24 05:19
Jupiter 13:19 19:45 02:14
Saturn 20:30 01:32 06:29
All times shown in MDT.

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

09 May 2016  –  Transit of Mercury
05 Jun 2016  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west
12 Jun 2016  –  Mercury reaches highest point in morning sky
08 Aug 2016  –  Mercury reaches highest point in evening sky

Image credit

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

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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