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°19' of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:23, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 03:25, 46° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:30, 18° 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 -12.5; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.4. 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 13h22m30s -04°30' Virgo -12.5 30'04"2
Jupiter 13h19m30s -06°42' Virgo -2.4 42"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 153° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 14 March 2017
Sunrise
07:46
Sunset
19:40
Twilight ends
21:07
Twilight begins
06:19

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

94%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:09 14:11 20:14
Venus 07:51 14:30 21:09
Moon 22:04 03:04 08:59
Mars 09:25 16:08 22:50
Jupiter 21:39 03:26 09:08
Saturn 03:01 07:53 12:45
All times shown in MDT.

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

17 Feb 2017  –  Jupiter at aphelion
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Oct 2017  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
08 May 2018  –  Jupiter 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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Washington

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37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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