Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
Mercury and Uranus will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 2°24' to the north of Uranus.
From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 11° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 19:43 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 11° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 23 minutes after the Sun at 20:46.
Mercury will be at mag -0.8, and Uranus at mag 5.9, both in the constellation Pisces.
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 Uranus 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|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 17° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.
|The sky on 27 March 2017|
29 days old
All times shown in EDT.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
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.
|15 Oct 2016, 06:30 EDT||– Uranus at opposition|
|19 Oct 2017, 13:21 EDT||– Uranus at opposition|
|23 Oct 2018, 20:33 EDT||– Uranus at opposition|
|28 Oct 2019, 04:02 EDT||– Uranus at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.