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 Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 2°03' of each other. The Moon will be 13 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible between 20:02 and 06:03. They will become accessible around 20:02, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will reach their highest point in the sky at 01:02, 45° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible around 06:03 when they sink below 7° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.5. 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 13h10m00s -03°30' Virgo -12.6 30'01"2
Jupiter 13h07m20s -05°27' Virgo -2.5 43"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 174° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 10 April 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:01 13:58 20:55
Venus 05:18 11:34 17:50
Moon 18:16 00:29 06:36
Mars 08:04 15:11 22:19
Jupiter 19:17 01:03 06:48
Saturn 00:57 05:44 10:30
All times shown in EDT.


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

07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 May 2018  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Jun 2019  –  Jupiter at opposition
14 Jul 2020  –  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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