Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 0°45' of each other. The Moon will be 27 days old.
From Ashburn, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:17 (EDT) – 2 hours and 4 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 15° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:01.
The Moon will be at mag -9.5, and Venus at mag -4.0, both in the constellation Libra.
The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 Venus around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach 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 24° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.
|The sky on 12 December 2020|
27 days old
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.
|04 Sep 2020||– Venus reaches highest point in morning sky|
|29 Oct 2021||– Venus at greatest elongation east|
|06 Dec 2021||– Venus reaches highest point in evening sky|
|16 Feb 2022||– Venus reaches highest point in morning sky|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.