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

Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 2°55' to the south of Jupiter. The Moon will be 3 days old.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From San Diego , the pair will become visible at around 17:01 (PDT), 22° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 32 minutes after the Sun at 19:16.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -10.0, and Jupiter at mag -2.0, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 Jupiter 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 Moon 20h05m40s 23°41'S Sagittarius -10.0 31'47"9
Jupiter 20h05m40s 20°46'S Sagittarius -2.0 32"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 33° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 16 Dec 2020

The sky on 16 December 2020
Sunrise
06:42
Sunset
16:44
Twilight ends
18:12
Twilight begins
05:13

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

11%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:39 11:35 16:30
Venus 04:51 10:02 15:13
Moon 08:49 13:53 18:59
Mars 12:55 19:21 01:46
Jupiter 09:03 14:10 19:16
Saturn 09:05 14:12 19:19
All times shown in PST.

Source

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.

Related news

12 Sep 2020  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion
20 Jun 2021  –  Jupiter enters retrograde motion
19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition
17 Oct 2021  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion

Image credit

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

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San Diego

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32.72°N
117.16°W
PDT

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