2019, January 22: Venus-Jupiter Conjunction

The brilliant Morning Star Venus passes bright Jupiter on January 22, in the first of two conjunctions during 2019.  Venus passed its inferior conjunction in late October, followed by Jupiter’s solar conjunction in late November 2018.  During December, Jupiter had a conjunction with Mercury, during the speedy planet’s very favorable apparition.

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Update:  The sky was cloudy for this chronicler’s location on January 22.  Above are some images for days leading up to the conjunction.

Other articles for Venus and Jupiter:

This Venus-Jupiter conjunction (2.4°) is not a close (epoch) conjunction as those in recent years.  A second conjunction (1.5°) follows later in the year as Jupiter heads towards its solar conjunction and Venus returns to the western sky as an Evening Star.  The second conjunction is visible low in the southwest during evening twilight, with the pair setting about 90 minutes after sunset.

At the January conjunction, the planets are found in the southeastern sky during early morning twilight.  On January 15, Venus (m = −4.5) rises nearly 3.5 hours before the sun followed by Jupiter (m = −1.8) nearly 30 minutes later.  The gap between the planets is 6.8°.  The gap closes each morning as Venus overtakes Jupiter:  Jan. 16, 5.9°; Jan. 17, 5.3° (Venus-Antares conjunction, 7.8°); Jan. 18, 4.4°; Jan. 19, 3.8°.

This diagram shows the eastward motion of Venus and Jupiter compared to the starry background from January 20 through January 24. Venus passes closest to Jupiter on January 22, in a widely-spaced conjunction where the planets are 2.4° apart.

The chart above shows a time lapse view of Venus as it approaches and moves past Jupiter, with Antares in the star field.  The separations shown on the chart: Jan. 20, 3°; Jan. 21, 2.6°; Jan. 22, 2.4°; Jan. 23, 2.5°; Jan 24, 2.9°.

After the conjunction, Venus continues its eastward gallop among the stars toward Saturn (m = 0.5) for a close conjunction on February 18.  On January 24, the end of this described sequence, Venus is nearly 25° to the upper right of Saturn, just 2° up in the southeast.   (See the companion article for more about this conjunction.)

After the 2019 Venus-Jupiter conjunctions, a series of epoch conjunctions occurs beginning on 2021.  The table below outlines the circumstances of those conjunctions.

Venus-Jupiter Conjunctions, 2021-2024

Date Separation When Description
February 11, 2021 26’ Morning This pairing is very difficult to see in the eastern sky as the planets rise in bright twilight just 25 minutes before sunrise.
April 30, 2022 29’ Morning The planets rise in the eastern sky about 90 minutes before sunrise.  In separation, this rivals the gap of the June 2015 conjunction, although it is lower in the sky.
March 1, 2023 32’ Evening This conjunction rivals the June 2015 pairing, with the planets high in the west after sunset, setting 2 hours, 30 minutes after the sun.
May 23, 2024 15’ Morning This pairing is impossible for casual observers to see as it occurs when the planets are nearly behind the sun hidden in the solar glare.

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