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

Conjunction of the Moon and Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 6°47' to the north of Mercury. The Moon will be 1 days old.

From Washington however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 1° above the horizon at dusk.

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 -8.3, and Mercury at mag 1.4, both in the constellation Libra.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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

The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 14h28m10s -10°59' Libra -8.3 33'24"3
Mercury 14h28m10s -17°46' Libra 1.4 9"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 14° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 17 October 2020
Sunrise
07:44
Sunset
18:54
Twilight ends
20:21
Twilight begins
06:17

1-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

1%

1 day old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:09 14:16 19:23
Venus 04:41 11:03 17:24
Moon 08:50 14:20 19:49
Mars 18:43 01:07 07:25
Jupiter 14:19 19:09 00:03
Saturn 14:42 19:36 00:34
All times shown in MDT.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

Source

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

06 Oct 2020  –  Mercury at dichotomy
25 Oct 2020  –  Mercury at inferior solar conjunction
01 Nov 2020  –  Mercury at perihelion
08 Nov 2020  –  Mercury at dichotomy

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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Washington

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Longitude:
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37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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