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Close approach of the Moon, Venus and Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Venus and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 3°49' of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From Fairfield, the trio will become visible around 17:20 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 30° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 21 minutes after the Sun at 20:21.

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 -10.2; Venus will be at mag -4.1; and Neptune will be at mag 7.9. The trio will lie in the constellation Aquarius.

They 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.

At around the same time, the trio will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 23h20m40s -09°30' Aquarius -10.2 29'32"4
Venus 23h15m20s -05°56' Aquarius -4.1 15"0
Neptune 23h12m30s -06°11' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 39° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 28 January 2020
Sunrise
07:08
Sunset
17:03
Twilight ends
18:38
Twilight begins
05:33

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

11%

4 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:53 12:56 18:00
Venus 08:58 14:41 20:23
Moon 09:27 15:01 20:35
Mars 03:49 08:27 13:05
Jupiter 05:42 10:19 14:57
Saturn 06:25 11:09 15:53
All times shown in EST.

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

28 Nov 2019  –  Venus at aphelion
19 Mar 2020  –  Venus at perihelion
24 Mar 2020  –  Venus reaches highest point in evening sky
24 Mar 2020  –  Venus at greatest elongation east

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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