© NASA/Cassini

Jupiter at solar conjunction

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 at14:14 EDT(25 days ago)
18:14 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Jupiter will pass very close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, Jupiter will appear at a separation of only 1°00' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, Jupiter will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 6.43 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If Jupiter could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 30.0 arcsec in diameter.

Over following weeks and months, Jupiter will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2017 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Jupiter 14h05m30s -11°39' Virgo 30.0"
Sun 14h04m -12°36' Virgo 32'10"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 October 2017
Sunrise 07:30
Sunset 18:15
Twilight ends
19:45
Twilight begins
06:00

7-day old moon
Age of Moon
7 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:30 13:36 18:42
Venus 05:58 11:46 17:35
Moon 13:25 18:23 23:20
Mars 04:55 10:59 17:02
Jupiter 07:29 12:54 18:19
Saturn 11:36 16:21 21:07

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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

07 Apr 2017, 17:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 May 2018, 20:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Jun 2019, 11:17 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
14 Jul 2020, 03:48 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Cassini

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