National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Moon Approaching Jupiter and Saturn (March, 2017)

The sky of Tokyo on March 18, 2017 4:30
Download: Medium resolution (2000 x 1265) High resolution (5500 x 3480)

Let’s Enjoy at the Moon Passing Near Jupiter and Saturn in the Dawn

Jupiter stands out glowing brightly in the southwestern predawn sky. During these days, when looking at the southern sky, although it is not as bright as Jupiter, the bright Saturn also stands out. From March 15 to 21, the Moon, having passed full phase, gradually becomes thin and it approaches these two planets.

The Moon makes its closest approach to Jupiter on the 15th. On the lower left of the Moon, you can see Jupiter shining while it is enveloped in the moonlight. Also, on the lower left of Jupiter, look for the 1st magnitude star Spica in the constellation Virgo, which looks as though it might be hidden by the moonlight.

After that, the Moon wanes towards last quarter, becoming thinner every day as it goes through the starry background. On the 19th, the Moon approaches close to the 1st magnitude star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. Also, on the 20th and 21st, it goes close to Saturn.

Please enjoy the position and the phases of the Moon changing every day.

Reference: Ephemeris Computation Office

You can look up the rising and setting times for the Sun and the Moon, and the phases of the Moon in the “Koyomi Station” of the NAOJ Ephemeris Computation Office. You can find the appearance of the Moon and planets as seen from a typical city under “Sky Viewer.”