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Close approach of the Moon, Jupiter and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Jupiter and 134340 Pluto will make a close approach, passing within 2°28' of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From Fairfield, the trio will become visible around 16:48 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 25° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 53 minutes after the Sun at 20:21.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.1; Jupiter will be at mag -2.1; and 134340 Pluto will be at mag 15.2. 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 19h43m30s -24°16' Sagittarius -11.1 31'40"0
Jupiter 19h42m30s -21°48' Sagittarius -2.1 34"4
134340 Pluto 19h40m00s -22°36' Sagittarius 15.2 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 56° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 19 November 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:19 10:34 15:49
Venus 04:09 09:41 15:13
Moon 11:34 16:08 20:43
Mars 14:30 20:52 03:18
Jupiter 10:58 15:39 20:21
Saturn 11:09 15:54 20:38
All times shown in EST.


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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