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 Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°22' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will become visible at around 17:18 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 39° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 4 hours and 41 minutes after the Sun at 21:39.

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 -11.1, and Neptune at mag 7.9, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Neptune 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 22h45m10s -08°25' Aquarius -11.1 31'07"9
Neptune 22h45m40s -08°46' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 56° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 02 January 2017
Sunrise
07:28
Sunset
16:58
Twilight ends
18:33
Twilight begins
05:52

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

22%

4 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:31 11:25 16:18
Venus 10:06 15:26 20:46
Moon 10:18 15:48 21:19
Mars 10:33 16:09 21:44
Jupiter 01:00 06:40 12:20
Saturn 05:55 10:42 15:30
All times shown in EST.

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

02 Sep 2016, 12:23 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
05 Sep 2017, 01:13 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
07 Sep 2018, 14:13 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
10 Sep 2019, 03:10 EDT  –  Neptune 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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme