Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
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 Ashburn (click to change) however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 2° above the horizon at dusk.
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 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|
30 days old
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.
|26 Aug 2018, 17:48 EDT||– Mercury at greatest elongation west|
|06 Nov 2018, 09:59 EST||– Mercury at greatest elongation east|
|15 Dec 2018, 10:17 EST||– Mercury at greatest elongation west|
|26 Feb 2019, 16:29 EST||– Mercury at greatest elongation east|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.