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

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 at01:00 EDT(19 days ago)
05:00 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°44' of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible between 20:08 and 05:57. They will become accessible at around 20:08, when they rise 7° above your eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:05, 43° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible at around 05:57 when they sink to 7° above your western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.6, and Neptune at mag 7.8, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will 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 22h58m00s -08°24' Aquarius -12.6 31'02"6
Neptune 22h57m10s -07°42' Aquarius 7.8 2"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 178° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 06 September 2017
Sunrise 06:42
Sunset 19:32
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

16-day old moon
Age of Moon
16 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:27 12:06 18:45
Venus 04:09 11:10 18:11
Moon 20:06 01:05 06:40
Mars 05:34 12:18 19:02
Jupiter 09:54 15:31 21:09
Saturn 14:39 19:26 00:17


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

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
07 Mar 2019, 20:02 ESTNeptune at solar conjunction

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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