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, 20 May 2017 at01:47 EDT(96 days ago)
05:47 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°26' of each other. The Moon will be 24 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:38 (EDT) – 3 hours and 13 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 29° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:31.

The Moon will be at mag -11.6, 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 23h02m10s -07°36' Aquarius -11.6 31'16"2
Neptune 23h01m40s -07°10' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 75° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 20 May 2017
Sunrise 05:51
Sunset 20:19
Twilight ends
22:09
Twilight begins
04:01

24-day old moon
Age of Moon
24 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:53 11:28 18:03
Venus 03:53 10:11 16:29
Moon 02:51 08:32 14:14
Mars 07:03 14:30 21:58
Jupiter 16:16 22:06 04:00
Saturn 22:09 03:00 07:47

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, 21:46 ESTNeptune at solar conjunction
05 Sep 2017, 01:13 EDTNeptune at opposition
04 Mar 2018, 08:56 ESTNeptune at solar conjunction
07 Sep 2018, 14:12 EDTNeptune 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.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme