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

Conjunction of Mercury and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 3°17' to the north of 134340 Pluto.

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 6° above the horizon at dusk.

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Mercury will be at mag -0.8, and 134340 Pluto at mag 15.3, both in the constellation Capricornus.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and 134340 Pluto around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 20h39m40s -19°59' Capricornus -0.8 5"9
134340 Pluto 20h39m40s -23°16' Capricornus 15.3 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 17° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 10 January 2028
Sunrise
07:26
Sunset
17:04
Twilight ends
18:40
Twilight begins
05:51

14-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

99%

14 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:33 13:27 18:21
Venus 09:32 14:47 20:02
Moon 15:22 23:16 07:05
Mars 08:27 13:21 18:16
Jupiter 22:33 04:43 10:54
Saturn 11:48 18:10 00:32
All times shown in EST.

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

29 Jul 2027  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
30 Jul 2028  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
01 Aug 2029  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
03 Aug 2030  –  134340 Pluto 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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Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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