The Moon and Mercury will make a close approach, passing within 1°32' of each other. The Moon will be 28 days old.
From Ashburn (click to change) however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 6° above the horizon at dawn.
The pair 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.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mercury 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 25° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.
|The sky on 23 May 2017|
All times shown in EDT.
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.
|17 May 2017, 18:58 EDT||– Mercury at greatest elongation west|
|29 Jul 2017, 20:24 EDT||– Mercury at greatest elongation east|
|12 Sep 2017, 05:11 EDT||– Mercury at greatest elongation west|
|23 Nov 2017, 21:22 EST||– Mercury at greatest elongation east|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.