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

Sat, 09 Jul 2016 at05:41 EDT(558 days ago)
09:41 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 0°48' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 20:54 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 30° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 2 minutes after the Sun at 23:36.

The Moon will be at mag -11.1, and Jupiter at mag -1.9, both in the constellation Leo.

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 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 11h16m50s +05°02' Leo -11.1 30'12"3
Jupiter 11h17m50s +05°48' Leo -1.9 32"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 60° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 09 July 2016
Sunrise 05:51
Sunset 20:36
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

5-day old moon
Age of Moon
5 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:02 13:28 20:54
Venus 06:33 13:53 21:13
Moon 11:23 17:36 23:50
Mars 16:28 21:17 02:11
Jupiter 10:53 17:15 23:36
Saturn 17:39 22:32 03:30


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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