April 19, 2024

Starwatch graphic

There is a beautiful conjunction this week between the crescent moon and Jupiter.

The chart shows the view looking west from London at 21:00 GMT on 13 March. By this time the pair will appear in a fully dark sky, but will be setting. Jupiter is so bright, however, that it will be easily visible before this time, as will the moon, shining through the twilight.

On this evening, the moon is just two days past new, and will have just 16.5% of its visible surface illuminated. By Saturday, the first week of its current lunation will have passed and the illumination will have grown to 50%, marking the first quarter. The moon will also have moved on significantly from Jupiter by the time, staying in the sky for around half the night while Jupiter continues to set a few hours after the sun.

The pairing is visible from the southern hemisphere as well. From Sydney, , the moon draws close to Jupiter on 13 and 14 March in the evening, just after sunset. Look west-north-west. On 13 March, 12.6% of the moon’s visible surface will be illuminated. On 14 March, the percentage will have grown to 21.3.

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