© NASA/Cassini

Jupiter at solar conjunction

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Jupiter
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Jupiter will pass close to the Sun in the sky as its orbit carries it around the far side of the solar system from the Earth.

At closest approach, Jupiter will appear at a separation of only 0°43' from the Sun, making it totally unobservable for several weeks while it is lost in the Sun's glare.

At around the same time, Jupiter will also be at its most distant from the Earth – receding to a distance of 6.03 AU – since the two planets will lie on opposite sides of the solar system.

If Jupiter could be observed at this time, it would appear at its smallest and faintest on account of its large distance. It would measure 32.0 arcsec in diameter.

Jupiter
Jupiter at opposition
Jupiter
Jupiter at solar conjunction

A comparison of the size of Jupiter as seen at opposition and at solar conjunction.

Over following weeks and months, Jupiter will re-emerge to the west of the Sun, gradually becoming visible for ever-longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. After around six months, it will reach opposition, when it will be visible for virtually the whole night. A chart of the path of Jupiter across the sky in 2024 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Jupiter at the moment it passes solar conjunction will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Angular Size
Jupiter 03h43m30s 18°59'N Taurus 32.0"
Sun 03h42m +19°42' Taurus 31'37"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 18 May 2024
Sunrise
05:52
Sunset
20:20
Twilight ends
22:08
Twilight begins
04:04

10-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

82%

10 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:59 11:34 18:09
Venus 05:44 12:48 19:52
Moon 15:42 21:51 03:48
Mars 03:58 10:14 16:31
Jupiter 05:58 13:06 20:14
Saturn 03:01 08:42 14:24
All times shown in EDT.

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

03 Nov 2023  –  Jupiter at opposition
07 Dec 2024  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Jan 2026  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Feb 2027  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Cassini

Share

Follow

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme