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Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 3°40' of each other. The Moon will be 14 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 21:23, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:46, 34° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:55, 9° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Libra.

They 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 15h12m20s -12°45' Libra -12.6 30'26"8
Jupiter 15h08m10s -16°16' Libra -2.5 43"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 169° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 30 April 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

14-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


14 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:18 11:29 17:40
Venus 07:35 14:57 22:18
Moon 20:53 01:21 06:51
Mars 01:33 06:17 11:01
Jupiter 20:34 01:47 06:55
Saturn 00:30 05:15 10:01
All times shown in EDT.


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

26 Oct 2017  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
08 May 2018  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Nov 2018  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
10 Jun 2019  –  Jupiter at opposition

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