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 Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 2°33' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:19, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 04:18, 45° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:05, 30° above your south-western horizon.

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 -12.3; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

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 Jupiter 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 13h29m30s -05°03' Virgo -12.3 30'00"3
Jupiter 13h26m20s -07°29' Virgo -2.3 39"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 124° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 15 February 2017
Sunrise
07:22
Sunset
18:13
Twilight ends
19:41
Twilight begins
05:55

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

78%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:50 11:54 16:57
Venus 08:49 15:13 21:37
Moon 23:15 04:11 10:02
Mars 09:22 15:41 21:59
Jupiter 22:34 04:19 09:59
Saturn 03:41 08:32 13:24
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

26 Sep 2016  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
17 Feb 2017  –  Jupiter at aphelion
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Oct 2017  –  Jupiter at 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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37.13°N
113.51°W
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