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Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°35' of each other. The Moon will be 8 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 18:52 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 23° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 19:40, 24° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 23:16, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.4. Both objects 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 19h15m50s -24°19' Sagittarius -12.1 31'03"2
Jupiter 19h15m30s -22°44' Sagittarius -2.4 40"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 104° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 25 September 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


8 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:50 14:05 19:21
Venus 03:03 10:00 16:58
Moon 15:51 20:21 00:51
Mars 19:38 02:10 08:37
Jupiter 15:06 19:40 00:17
Saturn 15:33 20:12 00:56
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

14 Jul 2020  –  Jupiter at opposition
28 Jan 2021  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction
19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition
05 Mar 2022  –  Jupiter at solar conjunction

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