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 Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 2°18' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Seattle, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will become visible around 21:31 (PDT) as the dusk sky fades, 18° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 33 minutes after the Sun at 23:37.

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 -10.3, and Venus at mag -4.0, both in the constellation Cancer.

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 Venus 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 08h21m00s +19°11' Cancer -10.3 33'02"4
Venus 08h22m10s +21°29' Cancer -4.0 14"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 37° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 16 June 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:56 14:04 22:12
Venus 08:07 15:53 23:38
Moon 08:47 16:16 23:46
Mars 23:55 04:17 08:37
Jupiter 17:19 22:14 03:14
Saturn 21:37 01:58 06:15
All times shown in PDT.


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

21 May 2018  –  Venus reaches highest point in evening sky
17 Aug 2018  –  Venus at greatest elongation east
08 Dec 2018  –  Venus reaches highest point in morning sky
05 Jan 2019  –  Venus at greatest elongation west

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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