The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury

Fri, 21 Dec 2018 at09:41 EST(334 days away)
14:41 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
Ashburn
The sky at

Jupiter and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with Jupiter passing 0°51' to the south of Mercury.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 11° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:50 (EST) – 1 hour and 35 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 11° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:05.

Jupiter will be at mag -1.8, and Mercury at mag -0.5, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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
Jupiter 16h30m50s -21°12' Ophiuchus -1.8 30"7
Mercury 16h30m50s -20°20' Ophiuchus -0.5 5"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 20° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 21 December 2018
Sunrise 07:24
Sunset 16:49
Twilight ends
18:25
Twilight begins
05:48

14-day old moon
Age of Moon
14 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:47 10:40 15:33
Venus 03:37 08:57 14:18
Moon 16:22 23:34 05:38
Mars 11:50 17:43 23:35
Jupiter 05:50 10:40 15:30
Saturn 08:07 12:51 17:36

Source

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, 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

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme