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 Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Mercury will make a close approach, passing within 0°50' of each other. The Moon will be 2 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 9° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 20:44 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 9° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 16 minutes after the Sun at 21:40.

The Moon will be at mag -9.5, and Mercury at mag 0.2, both in the constellation Leo.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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 Moon 10h05m00s +12°15' Leo -9.5 32'08"8
Mercury 10h04m10s +11°26' Leo 0.2 7"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 26° from the Sun, which is in Cancer at this time of year.

The sky on 25 July 2017
Sunrise
06:03
Sunset
20:27
Twilight ends
22:16
Twilight begins
04:14

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

5%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:21 15:01 21:41
Venus 03:07 10:25 17:42
Moon 08:44 15:23 22:02
Mars 06:04 13:18 20:32
Jupiter 12:09 17:55 23:41
Saturn 17:30 22:18 03:09
All times shown in EDT.

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

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

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