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

Lunar occultation of Jupiter

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Lunar Occultations feed

Objects: Jupiter
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The Moon will pass in front of Jupiter, creating a lunar occultation visible from countries and territories including Canada, the Contiguous United States, Greenland and Mexico amongst others. Although the occultation will only be visible across part of the world – because the Moon is so close to the Earth that its position in the sky varies by as much as two degrees across the world – a close conjunction between the pair will be more widely visible.

The occultation will be visible from Fairfield. It will begin with the disappearance of Jupiter behind the Moon at 07:43 EDT, though in daylight. Its reappearance will be visible at 08:52 EDT, though in daylight.

Extreme caution is necessary when pointing binoculars or telescopes at the sky when the Sun is above the horizon, as even a momentary glance at the Sun through such an instrument can cause permanent blindness.

The map below shows the visibility of the occultation across the world. Separate contours show where the disappearance of Jupiter is visible (shown in red), and where its reappearance is visible (shown in blue). Solid contours show where each event is likely to be visible through binoculars at a reasonable altitude in the sky. Dotted contours indicate where each event occurs above the horizon, but may not be visible due to the sky being too bright or the Moon being very close to the horizon.

Map showing where the occultation is visible

Outside the contours, the Moon will not pass in front of Jupiter at any time, or is below the horizon at the time of the occultation. However, a close conjunction between the pair will be visible across much of the world.

The map can be downloaded in PNG , PDF or SVG format. A KMZ file , is also available, which can be opened in Google Earth to provide a higher resolution map.

The animation below shows the path of the occultation across the Earth's globe. The red circle shows where the Moon appears in front of Jupiter.

You can download this video in MP4 or OGG format.

A complete list of the countries and territories where the occultation will be visible is as follows:

Country Time span
Canada 11:39–13:48
The Contiguous United States 11:07–13:09
Greenland 12:37–14:07
Mexico 10:56–12:13
Russia 13:11–14:28
Sweden 13:25–14:25
Norway 13:23–14:23
Finland 13:25–14:27
Svalbard 13:09–14:16
Iceland 13:02–14:12
Cuba 11:05–12:07
Great Britain 13:30–14:12
Nicaragua 10:58–11:44
Honduras 10:57–11:49
Latvia 13:53–14:23
Guatemala 10:56–11:53
Estonia 13:48–14:25
Dominican Republic 11:19–11:56
Costa Rica 11:00–11:33
Denmark 13:50–14:15
Haiti 11:14–11:57
Lithuania 14:02–14:17
Bahamas 11:13–12:18
Belarus 14:03–14:19
Belize 10:58–11:54
El Salvador 10:57–11:44
Jamaica 11:08–11:54
Faroe Islands 13:21–14:15
Ireland 13:44–13:59
Shetland 13:30–14:16
Aland Islands 13:44–14:24
Orkney 13:33–14:14
Northern Ireland 13:47–13:58
Panama 11:10–11:20
Svalbard and Jan Mayen 13:10–14:13
Turks and Caicos Islands 11:19–12:03
Cayman Islands 11:05–11:57
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 12:11–13:19
Bermuda 11:40–12:37
Navassa Island 11:13–11:53
Colombia 11:05–11:36

Lunar occultations are only ever visible from a small fraction of the Earth's surface. Since the Moon is much closer to the Earth than other celestial objects, its exact position in the sky differs depending on your exact location on Earth due to its large parallax. The position of the Moon as seen from two points on opposite sides of the Earth varies by up to two degrees, or four times the diameter of the full moon.

This means that if the Moon is aligned to pass in front of a particular object for an observer on one side of the Earth, it will appear up to two degrees away from that object on the other side of the Earth.

At the time of the occultation, the Moon will be 6 days past new moon and will be 5% illuminated. Jupiter will disappear behind the illuminated side of the Moon and reappear from behind the unilluminated side of the Moon.

The position of Jupiter at the moment of the occultation will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 01h52m30s 10°25'N Pisces -2.1 0'32"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

Next/previous occultations

« Previous Next »
Visible from the Contiguous United States Worldwide Worldwide Visible from the Contiguous United States
07 Dec 2004 22 Feb 2023 Occultations of Jupiter 08 Sep 2026 08 Sep 2026
31 Jan 2023 07 May 2023 Occultations 03 Jun 2023 25 Aug 2023

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 04:50 11:30 18:11
Venus 08:15 15:58 23:42
Moon 04:20 11:08 18:10
Mars 09:46 17:13 00:40
Jupiter 04:25 11:05 17:45
Saturn 02:21 07:47 13:12
All times shown in EDT.


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

23 Nov 2022  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion
04 Sep 2023  –  Jupiter enters retrograde motion
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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