The planets Venus and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within a mere 20.5 arcminutes of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:23 (EDT) – 1 hour and 29 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 10° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:36.
Venus will be at mag -4.0; and Jupiter will be at mag -1.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.
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.
A graph of the angular separation between Venus 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 29° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.
|The sky on 17 October 2021|
11 days old
All times shown in EDT.
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.
|15 Jun 2031||– Jupiter at opposition|
|19 Jul 2032||– Jupiter at opposition|
|25 Aug 2033||– Jupiter at opposition|
|01 Oct 2034||– Jupiter at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.