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

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 at20:54 EDT(55 days away)
00:54 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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Ashburn
The sky at

Venus and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 3°53' to the south of Mercury.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 11° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 19:35 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 11° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 20 minutes after the Sun at 20:37.

Venus will be at mag -3.9, and Mercury at mag 0.1, both in the constellation Pisces.

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.

A graph of the angular separation between Venus and Mercury 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
Venus 00h51m00s +04°25' Pisces -3.9 10"2
Mercury 00h51m00s +08°18' Pisces 0.1 7"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 16° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 17 March 2018
Sunrise 07:17
Sunset 19:17
Twilight ends
20:46
Twilight begins
05:48

30-day old moon
Age of Moon
30 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:49 14:19 20:49
Venus 08:01 14:18 20:35
Moon 07:41 13:30 19:19
Mars 02:47 07:28 12:09
Jupiter 23:44 04:53 09:58
Saturn 03:19 08:04 12:50

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

03 Jun 2017, 01:58 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
17 Aug 2018, 03:58 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
06 Jan 2019, 01:02 EST  –  Venus at greatest elongation west
24 Mar 2020, 03:31 EDT  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

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