Close approach of the Moon and Pluto

Tuesday 16th Jul 201916:17

The Moon and 134340 Pluto will make a close approach, passing within 0°02' of each other. The Moon will be 14 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will be visible between 22:11 and 03:44. They will become accessible at around 22:11, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:59, 16° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible at around 03:44 when they sink to 8° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.5, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and 134340 Pluto 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 19h33m30s -22°05' Sagittarius -12.5 29'58"7
134340 Pluto 19h33m30s -22°07' Sagittarius 14.5 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 177° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by