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

Lunar occultation of Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Jupiter

The Moon will pass in front of Jupiter, creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Fiji amongst others.

Unfortunately the occultation will not be visible from Fairfield, though a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Jupiter is visible (shown in red), and where its reappearance is visible (shown in blue). Solid contours show where each event is likely to be visible through binoculars at a reasonable altitude in the sky. Dotted contours indicate where each event occurs above the horizon, but may not be visible due to the sky being too bright or the Moon being very close to the horizon.

Map showing where the occultation is visible

Outside of the contours, the Moon does not pass in front of Jupiter at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair may be visible.

The map can be downloaded in PNG , PDF or SVG format. A KMZ file , is also available, which can be opened in Google Earth to provide a higher resolution map.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
Australia 01:53–23:06
New Zealand 08:55–09:49
Tasmania 02:48–20:47
Fiji 16:48–17:29
New Caledonia 03:51–15:49
Vanuatu 17:00–16:49
French Southern Territories 14:59–18:29
Mauritius 00:33–01:30
Tonga 16:51–17:43
Reunion 00:34–01:31
Heard Island and McDonald Islands 01:32–18:26
Lord Howe Island 03:25–09:33
Macquarie Island 08:43–09:31
Norfolk Island 03:37–09:23

Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a small fraction of the Earth's surface. Since the Moon is much closer to the Earth than other celestial objects, its exact position in the sky differs depending on your exact location on Earth due to its large parallax. The position of the Moon as seen from two points on opposite sides of the Earth varies by up to two degrees, or four times the diameter of the full moon.

This means that if the Moon is aligned to pass in front of a particular object for an observer on one side of the Earth, it will appear up to two degrees away from that object on the other side of the Earth.

The position of Jupiter at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 18h49m40s 22°53'S Sagittarius -1.9 0'31"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occultations

« Previous Next »
Visible from the Contiguous United States Worldwide Worldwide Visible from the Contiguous United States
07 Dec 2004 28 Nov 2019 Occultations of Jupiter 19 Feb 2020 17 May 2023
01 Mar 2018 29 Dec 2019 Occultations 18 Feb 2020 18 Feb 2020

The sky on 22 Jan 2020

The sky on 22 January 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent


27 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:47 12:38 17:28
Venus 09:04 14:36 20:08
Moon 05:25 10:09 14:51
Mars 03:53 08:32 13:12
Jupiter 05:59 10:36 15:13
Saturn 06:45 11:29 16:12
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

10 Jun 2019  –  Jupiter at opposition
14 Jul 2020  –  Jupiter at opposition
19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Sep 2022  –  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.






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