Moon Meets the Largest Planet
28 May 2014


This illustration shows the locations of the Moon, Jupiter and Mercury, in the sky of Alexandria, on the evening of 1 June 2014.

On the evening of 1 June 2014, the skies of Egypt will feature a beautiful sight: the Moon will appear close to Jupiter, the largest planet and the third brightest object in the night sky, after the Moon and Venus (Mars, the Red Planet, sometimes briefly rivals Jupiter in brightness). When two or more celestial bodies become visible close together in the sky, near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are very interesting naked-eye astronomical phenomena, particularly if the conjunction is between the Moon and a bright planet, such as Jupiter or Venus.

To view the coming conjunction, look toward west, about 40 minutes after sunset. The Moon and Jupiter will be close to the horizon. During this conjunction, Jupiter will shine as a bright white star, about 8 degrees to the right of the waxing crescent Moon (the apparent diameter of the Moon is 0.5 degrees). Intriguingly, Mercury, the smallest planet, will be visible close to the Moon and Jupiter, located 24 degrees to the lower right of the Moon.

The Moon will be a little more than 400,000 km away from Earth, while the distances of Mercury and Jupiter from our planet will be, respectively, 104 million km and 896 million km.

Your Sky

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist
News Center

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