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 Neptune

Sat, 22 Apr 2017 at13:57 MDT(8 days ago)
19:57 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°11' of each other. The Moon will be 25 days old.

From Washington (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:49 (MDT) – 2 hours and 1 minute before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:32.

The Moon will be at mag -10.8, and Neptune at mag 7.9, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Neptune around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 22h59m40s -07°33' Aquarius -10.8 31'39"0
Neptune 22h59m30s -07°23' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 49° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 22 April 2017
Sunrise 06:48
Sunset 20:14
Twilight ends
21:48
Twilight begins
05:14

25-day old moon
Age of Moon
25 days

All times shown in MDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:34 13:13 19:53
Venus 05:09 11:17 17:25
Moon 04:44 10:22 15:59
Mars 08:13 15:23 22:33
Jupiter 18:41 00:34 06:22
Saturn 00:27 05:19 10:11

Source

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.

Related news

02 Mar 2017, 19:46 MSTNeptune at solar conjunction
05 Sep 2017, 23:13 MDTNeptune at opposition
04 Mar 2018, 06:56 MSTNeptune at solar conjunction
07 Sep 2018, 12:12 MDTNeptune 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.

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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