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

Close approach of the Moon and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and 134340 Pluto will make a close approach, passing within 0°07' of each other. The Moon will be 11 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 20:08 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 15° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:50, 25° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 02:33, when they sink to 8° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.6, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and 134340 Pluto around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 19h30m50s -22°08' Sagittarius -12.5 29'53"4
134340 Pluto 19h30m50s -22°16' Sagittarius 14.6 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 151° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 12 August 2019
Sunrise
05:46
Sunset
19:49
Twilight ends
21:39
Twilight begins
03:57

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

93%

11 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:14 11:32 18:50
Venus 05:42 12:48 19:53
Moon 18:23 23:00 02:44
Mars 06:21 13:16 20:11
Jupiter 15:35 20:11 00:52
Saturn 17:47 22:22 03:02
All times shown in EDT.

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

14 Jul 2019  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
15 Jul 2020  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
17 Jul 2021  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
19 Jul 2022  –  134340 Pluto 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.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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