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 Jupiter

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 at11:58 EST(3 days away)
16:58 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 4°03' of each other. The Moon will be 26 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:08 (EST) – 3 hours and 13 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 26° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:01.

The Moon will be at mag -10.2, and Jupiter at mag -1.8, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 Jupiter 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 14h50m30s -11°02' Libra -10.2 29'49"0
Jupiter 14h45m40s -14°55' Libra -1.8 31"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 39° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 14 December 2017
Sunrise 07:20
Sunset 16:47
Twilight ends
18:23
Twilight begins
05:44

26-day old moon
Age of Moon
26 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:56 11:47 16:39
Venus 06:52 11:37 16:21
Moon 03:52 09:21 14:50
Mars 03:16 08:40 14:05
Jupiter 04:08 09:21 14:34
Saturn 07:47 12:31 17:16

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

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
EST

Color scheme