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 Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 3°45' of each other. The Moon will be 11 days old.

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:51 (MDT) as the dusk sky fades, 16° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 23:25, 38° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:59, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

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 -12.6, and Jupiter at mag -2.8, both in the constellation Capricornus.

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.

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 Jupiter 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 21h49m40s -18°23' Capricornus -12.6 31'20"9
Jupiter 21h44m40s -14°49' Capricornus -2.8 46"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 147° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 18 September 2021
Sunrise
07:17
Sunset
19:36
Twilight ends
21:03
Twilight begins
05:49

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

92%

11 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:30 14:58 20:25
Venus 10:52 16:06 21:19
Moon 18:57 00:15 04:26
Mars 07:48 13:51 19:53
Jupiter 18:08 23:25 04:46
Saturn 17:17 22:19 03:24
All times shown in MDT.

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

19 Aug 2021  –  Jupiter at opposition
26 Sep 2022  –  Jupiter at opposition
02 Nov 2023  –  Jupiter at opposition
07 Dec 2024  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

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

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

Color scheme