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

Close approach of Jupiter and Mercury

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Jupiter and Mercury will make a close approach, passing within a mere 6.8 arcminutes of each other.

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 2° above the horizon at dawn.

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Jupiter will be at mag -2.0; and Mercury will be at mag -1.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also 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 Jupiter and Mercury 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
Jupiter 03h59m40s +19°50' Taurus -2.0 32"0
Mercury 03h59m50s +19°43' Taurus -1.1 5"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 12° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 04 June 2024
Sunrise
05:20
Sunset
20:24
Twilight ends
22:28
Twilight begins
03:16

27-day old moon
Waning Crescent

3%

27 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:44 12:01 19:18
Venus 05:24 12:52 20:20
Moon 03:40 11:04 18:42
Mars 03:05 09:40 16:15
Jupiter 04:45 12:01 19:18
Saturn 01:42 07:23 13:05
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.

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10 Jan 2026  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Feb 2027  –  Jupiter at opposition

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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