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, 11 Jan 2018 at03:26 EST(7 days ago)
08:26 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 4°09' of each other. The Moon will be 24 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:42 (EST) – 4 hours and 45 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 33° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:08.

The Moon will be at mag -11.2, and Jupiter at mag -1.9, 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 15h09m30s -12°15' Libra -11.2 29'49"6
Jupiter 15h04m40s -16°15' Libra -1.9 33"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 62° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 11 January 2018
Sunrise 07:27
Sunset 17:06
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

24-day old moon
Age of Moon
24 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:04 10:47 15:30
Venus 07:35 12:19 17:04
Moon 02:43 08:04 13:25
Mars 02:53 07:59 13:04
Jupiter 02:42 07:50 12:59
Saturn 06:11 10:55 15:40


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.

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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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