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 Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The Moon and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 6°56' to the south of Mercury. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 9° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:37 (EDT) – 1 hour and 32 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 9° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:49.

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The Moon will be at mag -9.3, and Mercury at mag 0.2, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mercury 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 18h34m10s -27°28' Sagittarius -9.3 33'16"3
Mercury 18h34m10s -20°31' Sagittarius 0.2 8"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 22° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 20 January 2023
Sunrise
07:09
Sunset
16:45
Twilight ends
18:21
Twilight begins
05:29

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

1%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:38 10:22 15:05
Venus 08:22 13:25 18:29
Moon 06:25 10:41 15:01
Mars 12:26 20:08 03:50
Jupiter 09:59 16:04 22:08
Saturn 08:28 13:36 18:44
All times shown in EST.

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

07 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at inferior solar conjunction
23 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at highest altitude in morning sky
24 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at dichotomy
30 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west

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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Cambridge

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42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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