The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Conjunction of Mercury and Makemake

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 at18:53 EDT(11 days ago)
22:53 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and 136472 Makemake will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 29°09' to the south of 136472 Makemake.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will be visible in both the dusk and dawn skies. In the evening, they will become visible at around 18:58 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 47 minutes after the Sun at 20:27 (EDT). In the morning, they will rise at 05:31 – 1 hour and 43 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 13° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:56.

Mercury will be at mag -1.7 in the constellation Virgo, and 136472 Makemake at mag 17.0 in the neighbouring constellation of Coma Berenices.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and 136472 Makemake around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 12h59m20s -05°09' Virgo -1.7 4"7
136472 Makemake 12h59m20s +24°00' Coma Berenices 17.0 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 1° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 08 October 2017
Sunrise 07:11
Sunset 18:41
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

18-day old moon
Age of Moon
18 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:10 12:57 18:44
Venus 05:18 11:35 17:52
Moon 21:11 03:11 09:54
Mars 05:09 11:28 17:46
Jupiter 08:21 13:50 19:19
Saturn 12:40 17:26 22:12


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

26 Sep 2017, 03:04 EDT136472 Makemake at solar conjunction
24 Mar 2018, 10:04 EDT136472 Makemake at opposition
27 Sep 2018, 09:29 EDT136472 Makemake at solar conjunction
25 Mar 2019, 16:01 EDT136472 Makemake 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.




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