Close approach of Venus and Jupiter

Tuesday 22nd Jan 201915:18

Venus and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 2°24' of each other.

From London, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 13° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:51 (BST) – 3 hours and 3 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 13° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:28.

Venus will be at mag -4.3, and Jupiter at mag -1.9, 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 Venus 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
Venus 17h00m10s -19°41' Ophiuchus -4.3 20"8
Jupiter 16h58m40s -22°03' Ophiuchus -1.9 32"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 46° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by