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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 1°43' to the north of Mercury. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 13° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:16 (EDT) – 1 hour and 37 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 13° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:34.

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The Moon will be at mag -9.0, and Mercury at mag -0.7, both in the constellation Virgo.

The pair 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 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 14h06m30s -08°43' Virgo -9.0 33'20"5
Mercury 14h06m30s -10°27' Virgo -0.7 6"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 19° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 13 November 2020
Sunrise
06:51
Sunset
16:57
Twilight ends
18:29
Twilight begins
05:19

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

2%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:14 10:43 16:12
Venus 04:11 09:54 15:37
Moon 04:53 10:32 16:11
Mars 15:13 21:32 03:56
Jupiter 11:28 16:15 21:02
Saturn 11:42 16:32 21:22
All times shown in EST.

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 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

10 Nov 2020  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west
15 Dec 2020  –  Mercury at aphelion
19 Dec 2020  –  Mercury at superior solar conjunction
23 Jan 2021  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east

Image credit

None available.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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