Close approach of the Moon and Pluto

2019 Sep 9

The Moon and 134340 Pluto will make a close approach, passing within 0°04' of each other. The Moon will be 10 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 in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 19:49 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 13° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 21:15, 16° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 23:57, when they sink to 7° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.3, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.7, 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 19h28m50s -22°17' Sagittarius -12.3 29'55"7
134340 Pluto 19h29m00s -22°22' Sagittarius 14.7 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 124° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by