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Conjunction of Mercury and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 1°12' to the south of 134340 Pluto.

From Ashburn however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 7° above the horizon at dawn.

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Mercury will be at mag -0.2, and 134340 Pluto at mag 15.0, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and 134340 Pluto around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 19h17m00s -22°29' Sagittarius -0.2 5"7
134340 Pluto 19h17m00s -21°16' Sagittarius 15.0 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 22° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 29 January 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


1 day old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:05 10:50 15:35
Venus 09:14 15:16 21:18
Moon 08:19 13:46 19:13
Mars 09:35 15:38 21:41
Jupiter 23:20 05:02 10:40
Saturn 04:23 09:09 13:56
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.

Related news

07 Jan 2017  –  134340 Pluto at solar conjunction
10 Jul 2017  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
09 Jan 2018  –  134340 Pluto at solar conjunction
12 Jul 2018  –  134340 Pluto at opposition

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