Moon’s Conjunctions With Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Mercury

~11 min
Moon’s Conjunctions With Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, Mercury

Five planetary conjunctions with the Moon and one lunar occultation of Venus will occur this May. Read this article to learn how to see these events in the sky.

Contents

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.

May conjunctions

May 2: Moon-Mercury conjunction

The beginning of May will bring us the conjunction of the Moon and Mercury (magnitude 0.7). On May 2, at 14:17 GMT (10:17 a.m. EDT), a barely visible 1.3% illuminated lunar disk will pass 1°50' to the planet's south.

This conjunction will be well visible from the Northern Hemisphere but quite hard to see from the Southern one, where the objects will stay close to the Sun and may be obscured by its glare. Look for the Moon and Mercury shortly after sunset in the constellation Taurus, and you may even find the bright Pleiades nearby if the skies are dark enough!

May 22: Moon-Saturn conjunction

On May 22, at 04:43 GMT (12:43 a.m. EDT), spot the half-illuminated Moon and Saturn (magnitude 0.6) close together in the constellation Capricornus. At this moment, an apparent distance between two celestial bodies will be 4°27'. As it’s too wide to fit in the telescope’s field of view, see them with the naked eye or use a pair of binoculars. Northern observers should look just above the horizon in the morning hours, and those in the Southern Hemisphere will find the objects high in the sky after midnight.

May 24: Moon-Mars conjunction

On May 24, at 19:24 GMT (3:24 p.m. EDT), the conjunction of the Moon and Mars (magnitude 0.7) will occur. After passing its last quarter phase on May 22, the lunar disk is getting thinner day by day. It will meet the Red Planet in the constellation Pisces, coming as close as 2°46' in the moment of conjunction. The advice for observations is the nearly same: look low in the morning if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and high above your head after about 2 a.m local time if in the Southern one.

May 24: Moon-Jupiter conjunction

Another conjunction will take place on May 24, at 23:59 GMT (7:59 p.m. EDT). The Moon will pass 3°14' to the south of Jupiter (magnitude -2.2) in the constellation Pisces. The bright Gas Giant will rise later than Mars or Saturn, so even in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll need to wait until 3 a.m. local time to see it. Observers in the Northern Hemisphere will have only about an hour before sunrise to view the planet, and, again, the clear horizon is vital, as Jupiter stays low.

May 27: Moon-Venus conjunction

Another conjunction will happen on May 27, at 02:52 GMT (May 26, 10:52 p.m. EDT), when the dazzling Venus (magnitude -4.0) will meet the 11% illuminated Moon in the constellation Pisces. This will be the closest conjunction of the Moon and Venus in 2022: our natural satellite will pass only 0°12' to the south of the luminous planet!

Start looking for Venus a couple of hours before sunrise, as soon as it rises in the sky. You can learn the exact rising time for your location in the stargazing app Sky Tonight, which also shows the objects’ position in the sky at different times. Venus and the Moon will rise shortly before dawn in the Northern Hemisphere, but in the Southern Hemisphere, where the Sun rises later, observers will have about two decent hours of darkness to see them.

May 27: Lunar occultation of Venus

The same night, several minutes after the conjunction, at 03:03 GMT (May 26, 11:03 p.m. EDT), observers from Southeast Asia and Indonesia will see the Moon passing in front of Venus. This is called a lunar occultation of a planet — a spectacular but hard-to-catch event. Lunar occultations can be seen only from a small part of the Earth’s surface since the Moon’s position in the sky varies up to two degrees from different vantage points.

April conjunctions

April 24: Moon-Saturn conjunction

On April 24, at 20:56 GMT (4:56 p.m. EDT), the Moon and Saturn will come together to form the conjunction in the constellation Capricornus. The objects will be placed within 4.6° from each other, with our natural satellite shining at a magnitude of -11.5, and Saturn — at a magnitude of 0.6. The Moon and Saturn will be too far from each other to be seen together through a telescope, but you can try to view them with the naked eye or with a pair of binoculars.

April 25: Moon-Mars conjunction

On April 25, at 22:06 GMT (6:06 p.m. EDT), the Moon will meet Mars in the constellation Aquarius. The Red Planet (magnitude 0.9) and the Moon (magnitude -11.1) will be bright enough to observe with the unaided eye. Find them in the night sky within 4.1° from each other. Both objects will stay quite close together for about three hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to observe the bright duo.

April 27: Moon-Venus conjunction

On April 27, at 01:51 GMT (on April 26, 9:51 a.m. EDT), the Moon will draw closer to Venus; the apparent distance between them will equal 4°. The Moon will be in the waning crescent phase, shining at a magnitude of -10.6, and Venus will join it at a magnitude of -4.1. The about 10% illuminated lunar disc will be harder to notice with the naked eye, but you can easily spot it with binoculars. Find both objects with the help of our Sky Tonight app in the constellation Aquarius.

April 27: Moon-Jupiter conjunction

After meeting Venus, the Moon will reach a conjunction with Jupiter on April 27, at 08:23 GMT (4:23 a.m. EDT). The apparent distance between our natural satellite and Jupiter will be just 3.8°. The waning crescent Moon will be shining at a magnitude of -10.4 in the constellation Aquarius. Its partner Jupiter will stay in the neighboring constellation Pisces, shining at a magnitude of -2.1. Both objects could be seen through binoculars or the naked eye, but will be too far from each other to observe them together through a telescope.

March conjunctions

March 7: Close approach of the Moon and Uranus

On March 7, at 06:46 GMT (1:46 a.m. EST), the Moon and Uranus will pass within a mere 46.3' of each other.

The distance is still too far to spot both space objects at once through a telescope lens. Observers armed with a pair of binoculars are more likely to see the Moon (magnitude -10.9) and Uranus (magnitude 5.8) together in the constellation Aries.

March 7: Lunar occultation of Uranus

At the same time, the Moon will pass in front of Uranus as seen from the Earth, creating a lunar occultation of the planet. However, this event will not be visible from most parts of the Earth. The disappearance of Uranus can only be observed from some islands surrounding New Zealand. The reappearance of Uranus might be seen by observers from the eastern part of Australia, New Zealand, and a small part of Antarctica. The rest of the world will see only the close approach mentioned above.

March 28: Moon-Mars conjunction

On March 28, 2022, the Moon will be in the waning crescent phase with only about 15% of its surface illuminated. This means observers might get a better view of the stars and planets surrounding it, especially in the early morning as the planets rise above the horizon.

For example, on this day at 02:54 GMT (March 27, 9:54 p.m. EST), you might spot the Moon and Mars in the constellation Capricornus passing very close to each other, within 4°12'. Mars will have a magnitude of 1.1 – bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye.

March 28: Moon-Venus conjunction

On the same day, at 09:50 GMT (4:50 a.m EST), the Moon will meet Venus. The conjunction will be out of the scope for telescopes and binoculars: the Moon will pass 6°40' to the south of Venus, which is too far to fit within the field of view of the optical devices. However, Venus will shine at a magnitude of -4.3, so both celestial bodies lying in the constellation Capricornus will be perfectly visible in the dawn sky for the naked eye.

March 28: Moon-Saturn conjunction

The third conjunction on this day will occur at 11:43 GMT (6:43 a.m. EST) as the Moon will be passing 4°25' to the south of Saturn. The planet will have a magnitude of 0.7, which might seem a little dim, but it’ll still be visible through binoculars.

You might even spot the planets and the Moon together with the naked eye – try turning your gaze towards the constellation Capricornus and observe Saturn forming a triangle with Mars and Venus while the Moon crescent is shining below.

March 30: Moon-Jupiter conjunction

On March 30, at 14:36 GMT (9:36 a.m. EST), the nearly invisible lunar disc will pass 3°55' to the south of Jupiter. The planet will light up the Aquarius constellation with its magnificent, -2.0 magnitude, shine. The tropics and the Southern Hemisphere will be the best spots to observe the conjunction.

February conjunctions

February 2: Moon-Jupiter conjunction

The beginning of February brings us the conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter. On February 2, at 21:08 GMT (4:08 p.m. EST), our natural satellite will pass 4°19' to the south of the planet. The Moon will be barely visible in the sky as it reached its new phase only a day ago. Jupiter, one of the most noticeable planets in the sky, will have a magnitude of -2.0. Find the space objects in the constellation Aquarius.

February 27: Moon-Venus conjunction

On February 27, 2022, at 6:30 GMT (1:30 a.m. EST), the spectacular conjunction of the Moon (magnitude -10.7) and Venus (-4.6) will occur. The thin, only 13% illuminated lunar disk will pass 8°44' to the south of the most luminous planet; look for them in the constellation Sagittarius.

The duo will be visible in the pre-dawn sky: as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, Venus climbs above the horizon first, and then the nearly New Moon rises shortly before sunrise. Observation conditions will be better from the southern latitudes — the duo there becomes visible earlier (around 4 a.m. local time), giving observers more time to enjoy the view before sunrise.

February 27: Moon-Mars conjunction

On the same night, spot the Moon and Mars close together. The exact time of the conjunction is February 27, 2022, 09:00 GMT (4:00 a.m. EST); at this moment, the apparent distance between our natural satellite and the Red Planet will be only 3°31'. You’ll find the space objects in the constellation Sagittarius. Although Mars is much dimmer than Venus, it stays within the naked-eye visibility range, shining at a magnitude of 1.3.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, start observations an hour before sunrise. Thus you’ll see Mars, Venus, and the Moon line up in the sky. People from the Southern Hemisphere can see them earlier, at around 4 a.m. local time.

February 28: Moon-Mercury conjunction

On February 28, at 20:07 GMT (3:07 p.m. EST), the Moon and Mercury will meet again. At the moment of conjunction, the apparent distance between the two objects will be 3°43'. Bright Mercury will have a magnitude of -0.1; the Moon will approach its new phase and become almost invisible in the sky. Both celestial bodies will be located in the constellation Capricornus.

February 28: Moon-Saturn conjunction

On February 28, at 23:47 GMT (6:47 p.m. EST), the conjunction of the 6% illuminated Moon and Saturn will occur. They will pass close to each other in the constellation Capricornus, separated by a distance of 4°17'. Saturn will shine a bit dimmer than Mercury — with a magnitude of 0.7.

Saturn has just recently passed solar conjunction and is still located not so far away from the Sun. Observers can currently see it in the pre-dawn hours, low above the horizon. The Moon moving towards its new phase on March 2, also remains close to the Sun and rises shortly before it.

January conjunctions

January 4: Moon-Mercury conjunction

On January 4, 2022, at 01:22 GMT (January 3, 8:22 p.m. EST), the Moon will pass close to Mercury (magnitude -0.7) in the sky; both celestial objects will be located in the constellation Capricornus. The apparent distance between them will be 3°07', which is too wide for telescope objectives. You can use binoculars or try to view them with the naked eye.

Unfortunately, the Moon reaches the new phase on January 2, and on the day of conjunction, its disk will appear very thin, only 4% illuminated. The Moon will be positioned close to the Sun, so look for the little crescent and Mercury in the direction of sunset; they will stay low above the horizon. Mercury reaches the greatest separation from the Sun in the evening sky on January 7, 2022, so the nights around this date are the best for viewing the planet.

January 4: Moon-Saturn conjunction

On the same day, January 4, 2022, at 16:50 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST), the conjunction of the young Moon and the ringed planet Saturn (0.6) will occur. They will be positioned even further from each other: our natural satellite will pass 4°11' to the south of Saturn. Look for Saturn and the thin lunar disk also after sunset, close to the horizon.

January 6: Moon-Jupiter conjunction

Shortly after, on January 6, 2022, at 00:09 GMT (January 5, 7:09 p.m. EST), the waxing Moon will meet with the bright gas giant Jupiter in the constellation Aquarius. By this date, our natural satellite passing 4°27' to the south of the gas planet will become more noticeable in the sky, being 18% illuminated. And Jupiter, with a visual magnitude of -2.1, will be well visible even from the light-polluted places.

January 29: Moon-Mars conjunction

On January 29, 2022, at 15:05 GMT (10:05 a.m. EST), our natural satellite and Mars (1.5) will pass close to each other in the sky. At the end of the month, the lunar disk again will look thin, only 10% illuminated. The waning Moon will pass 2°24' to the south of the Red Planet in the constellation Sagittarius.

Mars is a morning planet in January 2022, so you need to look for it around two hours before sunrise. The Moon will be difficult to see as it’s positioned close to the Sun and might be obscured by its glare. Try to find a free horizon to spot the celestial bodies right after they rise.

January 31: Moon-Mercury conjunction

The end of January will bring us another conjunction of the Moon and Mercury; this one will be much trickier to observe. The two celestial objects will meet on January 31, at 00:20 GMT (January 30, 7:20 p.m. EST), separated at an angular distance of 7°34'. They won’t fit within a telescope or binoculars field of view and can be observed together only with the naked eye. However, the Moon will be almost impossible to see — on January 31, it’s only a day from reaching the new phase.

Mercury, in its turn, will significantly lose brightness and have a visual magnitude of only 1.5. Besides, after passing inferior solar conjunction on January 23, the planet stays below the horizon for the whole night, rising an hour before the Sun.

This was all you needed to know about the planetary conjunctions with the Moon, including the related upcoming events. If you enjoyed the article, share it on social media.

Learn about past conjunctions with the Moon and planets that took place in 2021 in our separate article.

Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!

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