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Close approach of the Moon, Jupiter and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The Moon, Jupiter and 134340 Pluto will make a close approach, passing within 2°10' of each other. The Moon will be 17 days old.

From Ashburn, the trio will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:52, when they rise to an altitude of 8° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:54, 29° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:24, 26° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.5; Jupiter will be at mag -2.6; and 134340 Pluto will be at mag 15.0. 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.

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 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 Moon 19h53m00s -23°20' Sagittarius -12.5 31'11"4
Jupiter 19h52m00s -21°10' Sagittarius -2.6 44"5
134340 Pluto 19h46m40s -22°07' Sagittarius 15.0 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 142° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 08 June 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:22 14:49 22:16
Venus 05:18 12:36 19:53
Moon 23:40 03:30 08:09
Mars 01:40 07:19 12:58
Jupiter 23:00 03:54 08:44
Saturn 23:17 04:15 09:09
All times shown in EDT.


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

27 Dec 2019  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
14 Jul 2020  –  Jupiter at opposition
28 Jan 2021  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition

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