On June 1, 2021, the Moon and Jupiter will pass very close to each other in the sky. We’ll explain how and when to observe their conjunction. Keep reading!
What is the Moon and Jupiter conjunction?
A detailed response on what a conjunction is in astronomy you can get from our previous article. Shortly speaking, during their conjunction, the Moon and Jupiter pass very close to each other, as seen from the Earth.
The Moon and Jupiter conjunction isn’t a rare event — you can observe it pretty much every month. Here is a schedule of their conjunctions for the upcoming astronomical season:
- Monday, June 28, 14:41 EDT (18:41 GMT);
- Sunday, July 25, 21:21 EDT (July 26, 1:21 GMT);
- Sunday, August 22, 00:56 EDT (4:56 GMT);
- Saturday, September 18, 02:54 EDT (6:54 GMT).
Quick reminder: in astronomy, seasons are defined by two solstices and two equinoxes. The upcoming June solstice will mark the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and, vise versa, the start of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. This season will last from June 20 to September 22.
How to see the Moon and Jupiter?
On June 1, at 05:00 EDT (9:00 GMT), Jupiter will be at 4.4º north of the Moon. At the night of conjunction, the 59.8% illuminated Moon will shine with a magnitude of -12.1. The gas giant will be at a magnitude of -2.5, and both sky objects will be placed in the constellation Aquarius.
The Moon is, without a doubt, one of the most easy-to-find objects in the night sky. So is dazzling Jupiter, the 4th-brightest celestial body — after the Sun, the Moon, and Venus, respectively. Depending on your time zone, you might miss the exact moment of conjunction; however, you can still see Jupiter passing very close to our natural satellite. Thereby, start your observations just before dawn and let the Moon be your reference point.
If the weather conditions are favorable, you’ll be able to spot moderately bright Saturn nearby at around the same time. Although Saturn shines as a 1st-magnitude star, you’ll probably need binoculars to see it more clearly.
At a certain moment, Pluto and Neptune (both can’t be observed with a naked eye) will almost line up with the much brighter neighbors above the horizon. To see such a configuration, use the stargazing guide Star Walk 2. Its Time Machine feature will help you plan observations in advance: tap the clock icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and rewind time forward (or backward) to see the sky at different times.
We wish you clear skies and happy observations!