Moon’s Conjunctions With Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury
In July 2022, look for the planets next to the Moon! Our natural satellite will meet with five planets this month. Here we provide the exact timings and observing conditions for each lunar conjunction.
What does a conjunction with the Moon mean?
In astronomy, a conjunction is an apparent event that occurs when two or more space objects are visible very close to each other. In general, conjunctions take place between the Moon and planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn).
Obviously, planets don’t get closer to the Moon in space — it would indeed cause a significant impact on the Solar System. The space objects only seem to be close in the sky for the observers from the Earth.
How to see a Moon-planet conjunction?
Here is what you need to know in advance:
- Space objects rise and set time for your location. There is a possibility that an object will rise above the horizon during the daytime, so you won’t be able to see it at all.
- The Moon phase. The fully illuminated lunar disk is, without doubt, an exciting view, but it also hides some relatively faint objects that are close to it.
- The space objects’ trajectory across the sky. It will help you to visualize the future movement of space objects.
Remember that depending on your timezone, you might miss the exact moment of conjunction, but you still have a chance to catch a planet close to the Moon.
Use our stargazing apps to quickly learn all the necessary information, like an object’s set and rise times or the Moon phase. Track the space objects’ path across the sky over time to predict their position for your location or find out the name of any bright dot above your head.
July 15: Moon-Saturn conjunction
In July, Saturn will be the first planet to get close to the Moon. Observe the conjunction on July 15, at 20:16 GMT (4:16 p.m. EDT). The 16-days-old Moon will shine at a magnitude of -12.7 within 4°02' from Saturn (magnitude 0.4) in the constellation Capricornus. The pair can be spotted with the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars, but both objects won’t fit into a telescope’s field of view.
July 19: Moon-Jupiter conjunction
On July 19, at 00:55 GMT (July 18, 8:55 p.m. EDT), see the Moon meeting Jupiter in the constellation Cetus. Our natural satellite will have a magnitude of -12.2, and bright Jupiter will reach a magnitude of -2.6. The objects will be separated by a distance of 2°13', which is too wide for telescope objectives, but you can try to spot the bright duo with the naked eye or use a pair of binoculars for an even greater view.
July 21: Moon-Mars conjunction
Two days later, the conjunction of the Moon and Mars will take place. Enjoy the celestial meet-up on July 21, at 16:46 GMT (12:46 p.m. EDT). The Moon will shine at a magnitude of -11.5 next to its partner Mars (magnitude 0.3) in the constellation Aries. The Red Planet will come as close as 1°03' to the Moon, but it’s still too wide to see both objects together through a telescope. So, use a pair of binoculars, or observe the conjunction with the naked eye.
July 26: Moon-Venus conjunction
On July 26, at 14:12 GMT (10:12 a.m. EDT), the Moon will meet Venus in the constellation Gemini. The thin waning crescent Moon (magnitude -9.1) will pass 4°10' to the planet’s north. Venus will shine at a magnitude of -3.9, easily observed with the naked eye. You can use a pair of binoculars to see the conjunction closer, but don’t bother taking a telescope — both objects won’t fit into its field of view.
July 29: Moon-Mercury conjunction
On July 29, at 21:08 GMT (5:08 p.m. EDT), the Moon will meet Mercury. The event will be tricky to catch in the Northern Hemisphere, where Mercury (magnitude -0.7) will appear only a few degrees above the horizon. In addition, our natural satellite will be just one day old and have a magnitude of -7.9. In the Southern Hemisphere, try to spot the conjunction 40 minutes after sunset. Mercury and the Moon will be placed within 3°35' from each other in the constellation Leo.
Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!
Text Credit: Vito Technology, Inc.