Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter

Monday 20th May 201916:20

The Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 1°40′ of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 15° above the horizon. They will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 23:50, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 02:34, 15° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 04:36, 11° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.6, and Jupiter at mag -2.6, 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 17h25m10s -20°54′ Ophiuchus -12.6 30’52″9
Jupiter 17h24m10s -22°33′ Ophiuchus -2.6 44″2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 157° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by