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Conjunction of the Moon and Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 5°51' to the north of Mercury. The Moon will be 1 days old.

From Cambridge however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 1° above the horizon at dusk.

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The Moon will be at mag -7.9, and Mercury at mag -0.5, both in the constellation Virgo.

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

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon 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
The Moon 13h50m00s -05°57' Virgo -7.9 31'46"4
Mercury 13h50m00s -11°49' Virgo -0.5 4"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 12° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 09 October 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

30-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


30 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:00 13:20 18:40
Venus 09:16 13:53 18:31
Moon 07:17 13:05 18:54
Mars 15:42 20:23 01:05
Jupiter 10:02 14:57 19:52
Saturn 13:12 17:45 22:19
All times shown in EDT.


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.


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

20 Sep 2018  –  Mercury at superior solar conjunction
16 Oct 2018  –  Mercury at aphelion
06 Nov 2018  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east
08 Nov 2018  –  Mercury reaches highest point in evening sky

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