The Moon, Jupiter and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 1°30' of each other. The Moon will be 24 days old.
From Ashburn, the trio will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:11 (EST) – 3 hours and 4 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 22° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:59.
The Moon will be at mag -11.3; Jupiter will be at mag -2.1; and Mars will be at mag 0.9. The trio will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.
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.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Jupiter 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 65° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.
|The sky on 18 March 2020|
24 days old
All times shown in EDT.
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.
|10 Jun 2019||– Jupiter at opposition|
|14 Jul 2020||– Jupiter at opposition|
|19 Aug 2021||– Jupiter at opposition|
|26 Sep 2022||– Jupiter at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.