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New Moon and Jupiter together in the western sky

On the evening of Friday 2016 August 5 the Moon and Jupiter have a relatively close encounter in the western sky after sunset. The Moon, new on August 2, will be a thin crescent (9% phase) only 3 days old. At 20:00 UTC (21:00 BST) from mid UK latitudes the Moon will lie 7 degrees above the western horizon while Jupiter at magnitude -1.7, and on its way to conjunction in September, will lie just 4 degrees away to the east and 10 degrees above the horizon, the two making a lovely pairing in small binoculars.

 

For those observers with an excellent western horizon Mercury, at magnitude zero, might be glimpsed lying 10 degrees to the west of Moon and 5 degrees above the horizon, while going 9 degrees even further west could bring brighter Venus (magnitude -3.9) in view.

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