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 sky at

The Moon and Mercury will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 3°35' to the south of Mercury. The Moon will be 28 days old.

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 3° above the horizon at dawn.

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 -9.1, and Mercury at mag -0.2, 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.

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 20h52m50s -22°45' Capricornus -9.1 33'18"8
Mercury 20h52m50s -19°09' Capricornus -0.2 5"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 20° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 18 February 2023
Sunrise
06:42
Sunset
17:30
Twilight ends
19:02
Twilight begins
05:10

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent

1%

28 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:01 10:53 15:46
Venus 07:56 13:52 19:48
Moon 06:01 10:38 15:26
Mars 11:12 18:53 02:33
Jupiter 08:25 14:38 20:50
Saturn 06:49 12:04 17:19
All times shown in EST.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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

30 Jan 2023  –  Mercury at greatest elongation west
11 Apr 2023  –  Mercury at greatest elongation east
14 Apr 2023  –  Mercury at highest altitude in evening sky
29 May 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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