Starwatch: a meeting between the moon and Jupiter


Whereas our first lunar conjunction of the month (with Mars two weeks ago) took place when the moon was very young, this pairing with Jupiter takes place when the moon is just past full. Our natural satellite has begun this month’s waning phase but will still be 94.5% illuminated on Monday night, when the conjunction takes place. The chart shows the night sky on 21 May 2019 at 03.00 BST, looking due south. To see the pairing, observers will need a clear southern horizon as it takes place at low altitude. The moon and Jupiter will be nestled between the southern zodiacal constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius, and they will be bookended by two other celestial objects of note. To the west of Jupiter, slightly lower, is the red star of Antares in Scorpius. To the east of the moon, on the other side of Sagittarius, is Saturn. On the evening of 23 May, the moon will pass close to Saturn, giving skywatchers another celestial meeting to enjoy.


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