The Moon will be sharing sky-space with the two biggest planets this month

These two events will be preparing us for 'The Great Conjunction' between Jupiter and Saturn next year.

This month, in May, there will be two celestial events to look forward to. The Moon will share sky-space with Jupiter and Saturn on two distinct days.

Last month, there were similar events on 23 and 25 April 2019. These concurrent events are leading up to 'The Large Conjunction' which occurs every 18-20 years. In astronomy, a conjunction occurs when the position of two astronomical objects coincide in the night sky when observed from Earth. The last time this happened was in May 2000 and the next one will occur next year in December 2020.

Jupiter takes almost 12 years to complete one orbit around the Sun and Saturn takes almost 30 years to complete an orbit. So when they meet, it will be a conjunction, and since it takes so long for them to complete one orbit, their conjunction will be, well, great.

The Moon is going through a Waning Gibbous phase which occurs for the first seven days after its full moon (18 May 2019). The illumination of the moon will keep on decreasing until it reaches the first Quater where the surface will be 50 percent illuminated.

All the information you would need to catch these events live is listed down below.

The Moon will be sharing sky-space with the two biggest planets this month

Representational image. Image courtesy: NASA

Moon and Jupiter

  • When is it taking place? Monday, 20 May 2019
  • Where can you see it? You can calculate the time for the place closest to you here. From Mumbai, you need to be looking at the south-eastern horizon. The moon will reach its highest point at 2.13 am IST on 21 May and will lose sight of the phenomena at 5.48 am IST on 21 May.
  • What time will it happen? It will first appear at 9 pm IST on 20 May.
  • Why is it happening? The Moon and Jupiter will share the same ascension time and hence they will be seen together.
  • How can you see this event? It will be visible by the naked eye and can be seen by binoculars as well. The moon and Jupiter will be too far away from each other for observation together using a telescope.
  • How far is the moon from Jupiter? Around 630 million kilometres.
Representational image. Saturn.

Representational image. Saturn.

Moon and Saturn

  • When is it taking place? Thursday, 23 May 2019.
  • Where can you see it? You can calculate the time for the place closest to you here. From Mumbai, look to the south-eastern horizon where the Moon will reach its highest point at 4.03 am IST on 24 May and will lose sight of it at 5.44 am IST on 24 May.
  • What time will it take place? It will first appear at 11.07 pm IST on 23 May.
  • Why is it happening? The moon and Saturn will share their ascension at the same time and hence will be seen together.
  • How can you see it? It will be visible by the naked eye and can be seen by binoculars as well. They will be too far away from each other to see them using a telescope.
  • How far is the moon from Saturn?

 

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