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 Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:57 (EDT) – 1 hour and 35 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 13° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:16.
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 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|
28 days old
All times shown in EST.
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.
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 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|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.