Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Thursday 3rd Oct 201919:58

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°50' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 12° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 18:55 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 12° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 46 minutes after the Sun at 21:19.

The Moon will be at mag -11.4, and Jupiter at mag -2.0, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

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

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 17h10m30s -20°51' Ophiuchus -11.4 31'13"9
Jupiter 17h09m10s -22°40' Ophiuchus -2.0 34"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 68° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by