Close approach of the Moon and Venus

Sunday 29th Dec 201901:58

The Moon and Venus will make a close approach, passing within 0°58' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 14° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 16:20 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 14° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 50 minutes after the Sun at 18:43.

The Moon will be at mag -10.0, and Venus at mag -4.0, both in the constellation Capricornus.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 Venus 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 20h54m50s -20°20' Capricornus -10.0 30'10"4
Venus 20h54m10s -19°22' Capricornus -4.0 12"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 33° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by