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 Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 1°33' to the south of 134340 Pluto.

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 3° above the horizon at dawn.

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Mercury will be at mag -0.4, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.6, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and 134340 Pluto 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 19h24m30s -23°09' Sagittarius -0.4 5"0
134340 Pluto 19h24m30s -21°35' Sagittarius 14.6 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 15° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 24 January 2018
Sunrise
07:10
Sunset
16:58
Twilight ends
18:34
Twilight begins
05:34

7-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

49%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:24 11:00 15:36
Venus 07:29 12:20 17:12
Moon 11:22 17:53 00:24
Mars 02:30 07:23 12:16
Jupiter 01:47 06:50 11:52
Saturn 05:15 09:54 14:32
All times shown in EST.

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

10 Jul 2017  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
12 Jul 2018  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
14 Jul 2019  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
15 Jul 2020  –  134340 Pluto 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.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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