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Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°20' of each other. The Moon will be 27 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:11 (EDT) – 2 hours and 9 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 19° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:01.

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The Moon will be at mag -9.3; and Jupiter will be at mag -1.7. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

They 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 12h41m00s -01°44' Virgo -9.3 29'38"2
Jupiter 12h39m20s -03°01' Virgo -1.7 30"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 25° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 28 October 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent


27 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:24 12:40 17:56
Venus 10:34 15:07 19:39
Moon 05:19 11:14 17:08
Mars 13:24 17:58 22:31
Jupiter 05:11 11:04 16:56
Saturn 10:29 15:14 19:59
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

26 Sep 2016  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
17 Feb 2017  –  Jupiter at aphelion
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Oct 2017  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction

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