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 5°48' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:27, when they reach an altitude of 8° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 06:04, 71° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:23, 70° above your southern horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 05h16m40s +28°10' Taurus -12.1 31'33"5
Jupiter 05h19m10s +22°23' Taurus -2.5 40"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 100° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 23 September 2024
Sunrise
06:39
Sunset
18:51
Twilight ends
20:23
Twilight begins
05:07

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

53%

20 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:08 12:24 18:41
Venus 09:13 14:36 19:58
Moon 21:25 05:27 13:37
Mars 23:57 07:30 15:02
Jupiter 22:36 06:04 13:32
Saturn 18:12 23:46 05:21
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.

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07 Dec 2024  –  Jupiter at opposition
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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41.14°N
73.26°W
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