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

Close approach of the Moon and Venus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

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.

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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.

At around the same time, the two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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 Moon 15h37m50s -17°16' Libra -9.5 33'00"7
Venus 15h36m50s -17°59' Libra -4.0 11"2

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
Sunrise
07:18
Sunset
16:46
Twilight ends
18:22
Twilight begins
05:42

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent

4%

27 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:03 11:44 16:25
Venus 05:16 10:18 15:20
Moon 04:56 10:05 15:14
Mars 13:24 19:54 02:26
Jupiter 09:53 14:44 19:34
Saturn 09:56 14:48 19:40
All times shown in EST.

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

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

Image credit

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme