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 3°52' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Washington, the pair will become visible around 18:14 (MDT) as the dusk sky fades, 38° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 46 minutes after the Sun at 21:41.

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 -10.7; and Venus will be at mag -4.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.

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 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 23h52m10s -03°09' Pisces -10.7 31'37"5
Venus 23h47m30s +00°32' Pisces -4.6 30"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 45° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 31 January 2017
Sunrise
07:37
Sunset
17:57
Twilight ends
19:27
Twilight begins
06:08

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

14%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:28 11:18 16:09
Venus 09:33 15:38 21:42
Moon 09:59 15:55 21:50
Mars 09:54 15:59 22:04
Jupiter 23:34 05:18 10:57
Saturn 04:34 09:26 14:18
All times shown in MST.

Source

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

30 Jan 2017  –  Venus reaches highest point in evening sky
18 Feb 2017  –  Venus at greatest brightness
20 Feb 2017  –  Venus at perihelion
25 Mar 2017  –  Venus at inferior solar conjunction

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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Washington

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Longitude:
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37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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