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 Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 5°46' of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From Seattle, the pair will become visible around 16:39 (PDT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 1 minute after the Sun at 19:17.

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 -10.5; and Venus will be at mag -4.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 Venus 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 19h46m40s -17°46' Sagittarius -10.5 30'06"3
Venus 19h49m20s -23°30' Sagittarius -4.2 17"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 43° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 03 December 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:26 13:22 17:19
Venus 10:58 15:09 19:20
Moon 10:45 15:30 20:15
Mars 11:54 16:41 21:28
Jupiter 02:44 08:23 14:02
Saturn 08:04 12:25 16:47
All times shown in PST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

31 Oct 2016  –  Venus at aphelion
12 Jan 2017  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
14 Jan 2017  –  Venus at dichotomy
11 Feb 2017  –  Venus 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.






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