© NASA/Cassini

Jupiter at solar conjunction

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 at03:05 EDT(182 days ago)
07:05 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Jupiter 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, Jupiter will appear at a separation of only 1°05' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, Jupiter will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 6.45 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If Jupiter could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 29.9 arcsec in diameter.

Over following weeks and months, Jupiter 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 Jupiter across the sky in 2016 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Jupiter 12h14m10s -00°20' Virgo 29.9"
Sun 12h12m -01°20' Virgo 31'54"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 September 2016
Sunrise: 06:47
Sunset: 18:46
from 05:16
until 20:17

25-day old moon
Age of Moon:
25 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:19 11:43 18:07
Venus 09:19 14:38 19:56
Moon 02:35 09:30 16:25
Mars 14:05 18:29 22:54
Jupiter 06:45 12:47 18:49
Saturn 12:23 17:11 21:58


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

26 Sep 2016, 03:05 EDTJupiter at solar conjunction
07 Apr 2017, 17:28 EDTJupiter at opposition
26 Oct 2017, 14:14 EDTJupiter at solar conjunction
09 May 2018, 20:28 EDTJupiter at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Cassini




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