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 a mere 43.1 arcminutes 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 27 days old.

From San Diego , the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:30 (PDT) – 1 hour and 16 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 11° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:29.

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 -9.4 in Aries; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.1 in Pisces.

They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 01h51m20s 11°03'N Aries -9.4 31'28"8
Jupiter 01h52m30s 10°25'N Pisces -2.1 32"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 26° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 17 May 2023

The sky on 17 May 2023
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent


27 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:55 11:25 17:56
Venus 08:39 15:54 23:10
Moon 04:29 11:10 18:01
Mars 10:05 17:08 00:12
Jupiter 04:30 11:00 17:30
Saturn 02:07 07:42 13:17
All times shown in PDT.


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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02 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.


San Diego



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