Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
Jupiter and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with Jupiter passing 3°16' to the north of Mercury.
From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 8° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 18:30 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 8° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 6 minutes after the Sun at 19:18.
Jupiter will be at mag -1.7, and Mercury at mag -0.2, both in the constellation Libra.
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.
A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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 21° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.
|The sky on 29 October 2018|
20 days old
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.
|08 May 2018, 20:28 EDT||– Jupiter at opposition|
|10 Jun 2019, 11:17 EDT||– Jupiter at opposition|
|14 Jul 2020, 03:48 EDT||– Jupiter at opposition|
|19 Aug 2021, 20:18 EDT||– Jupiter at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.