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 1°03' of each other. From some parts of the world, the Moon will pass in front of Jupiter, creating a lunar occultation. The Moon will be 2 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will become visible at around 18:10 (EDT), 30° above your south-western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 20:52.

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 -10.3 in Cetus; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.1 in Pisces.

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.

At around the same time, the pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 00h41m10s 2°04'N Cetus -10.3 32'19"8
Jupiter 00h39m10s 3°00'N Pisces -2.1 33"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 36° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 22 Feb 2023

The sky on 22 February 2023
Sunrise
06:50
Sunset
17:54
Twilight ends
19:23
Twilight begins
05:21

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

13%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:14 11:17 16:20
Venus 08:07 14:11 20:14
Moon 08:23 14:33 20:56
Mars 11:25 18:59 02:32
Jupiter 08:26 14:39 20:51
Saturn 06:44 12:03 17:22
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.

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03 Nov 2023  –  Jupiter at opposition
30 Dec 2023  –  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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Ashburn

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Longitude:
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39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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