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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°46' of each other. The Moon will be 12 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:35 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 20° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 23:26, 33° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:48, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5; 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 14h59m20s -11°46' Libra -12.5 30'21"0
Jupiter 14h54m40s -15°23' Libra -2.5 43"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 159° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 27 May 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


12 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:55 12:04 19:14
Venus 07:36 15:15 22:54
Moon 18:29 23:46 04:31
Mars 00:20 05:01 09:42
Jupiter 18:18 23:26 04:38
Saturn 22:24 03:08 07:47
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

08 May 2018  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Nov 2018  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
10 Jun 2019  –  Jupiter at opposition
27 Dec 2019  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction

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