The Moon, Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach, passing within 2°56' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.
From Fairfield, the trio will become visible around 16:44 (EST), 18° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 35 minutes after the Sun at 19:00.
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.
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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 34° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.
|The sky on 17 December 2020|
3 days old
All times shown in EST.
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.
|20 Jul 2020||– Saturn at opposition|
|02 Aug 2021||– Saturn at opposition|
|14 Aug 2022||– Saturn at opposition|
|27 Aug 2023||– Saturn at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.