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 Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within a mere 1.1 arcminutes of each other. From some parts of the world, the Moon will pass in front of Neptune, creating a lunar occultation. The Moon will be 24 days old.

From Ashburn however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 20° above the horizon at dawn.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.5; and Neptune will be at mag 7.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Neptune 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 23h59m30s 1°26'S Pisces -11.5 32'23"9
Neptune 23h59m30s 1°25'S Pisces 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 71° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 31 May 2024

The sky on 31 May 2024
Sunrise
05:43
Sunset
20:29
Twilight ends
22:24
Twilight begins
03:48

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent

28%

23 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:59 12:01 19:04
Venus 05:43 13:01 20:19
Moon 02:12 07:59 13:58
Mars 03:30 09:59 16:28
Jupiter 05:16 12:27 19:37
Saturn 02:09 07:52 13:34
All times shown in EDT.

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

06 Dec 2023  –  Neptune ends retrograde motion
02 Jul 2024  –  Neptune enters retrograde motion
20 Sep 2024  –  Neptune at opposition
07 Dec 2024  –  Neptune 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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39.04°N
77.49°W
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