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Close approach of the Moon and Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 0°31' of each other. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:36 (EDT) – 2 hours and 20 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 22° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:38.

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The Moon will be at mag -9.6; and Venus will be at mag -3.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Leo.

They 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 pair will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 09h58m30s +12°41' Leo -9.6 31'49"1
Venus 09h59m10s +13°12' Leo -3.9 11"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 27° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 17 September 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent


27 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:30 12:05 18:40
Venus 04:33 11:21 18:08
Moon 04:10 11:00 17:50
Mars 05:27 12:02 18:38
Jupiter 09:23 14:57 20:32
Saturn 13:59 18:45 23:32
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.

Related news

30 Jul 2017  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
03 Oct 2017  –  Venus at perihelion
09 Jan 2018  –  Venus at superior solar conjunction
23 Jan 2018  –  Venus at aphelion

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