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

Conjunction of Mercury and Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and Neptune will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 0°46' to the north of Neptune.

From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 10° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 18:05 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 10° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 13 minutes after the Sun at 19:00.

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Mercury will be at mag -1.0, and Neptune at mag 8.0, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and Neptune 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
Mercury 23h07m20s -05°53' Aquarius -1.0 5"9
Neptune 23h07m20s -06°40' Aquarius 8.0 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 15° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 19 February 2019
Sunrise
06:55
Sunset
17:49
Twilight ends
19:19
Twilight begins
05:26

15-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

99%

15 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:36 13:21 19:05
Venus 04:38 09:29 14:20
Moon 18:16 00:00 06:58
Mars 09:28 16:15 23:02
Jupiter 02:46 07:31 12:16
Saturn 04:37 09:24 14:11
All times shown in EST.

Warning

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.

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

07 Sep 2018  –  Neptune at opposition
10 Sep 2019  –  Neptune at opposition
11 Sep 2020  –  Neptune at opposition
14 Sep 2021  –  Neptune 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
EDT

Color scheme