The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Venus and Neptune

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 at16:05 EST(433 days ago)
21:05 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Venus and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°21' of each other.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will become visible at around 17:26 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 34° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 55 minutes after the Sun at 21:01.

Venus will be at mag -4.4, 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.

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 Venus 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
Venus 22h46m00s -08°21' Aquarius -4.4 24"4
Neptune 22h46m40s -08°40' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 47° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 12 January 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:49 10:39 15:30
Venus 09:50 15:25 21:01
Moon 17:56 00:57 07:05
Mars 10:11 15:57 21:43
Jupiter 00:25 06:04 11:43
Saturn 05:21 10:08 14:55
All times shown in EST.


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.

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




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