Solar System Phenomena — Jupiter in 2023

The path of Jupiter against the background stars in 2023

The chart shows the path of Jupiter across the background stars over the course of the year. Stars to magnitude +7.5 are shown. The white circles represent the planet on the first day of the month and are scaled according to apparent magnitude. The faint paths before the first circle and after the last circle represent the planet's positions in December of last year and January of next. In general, the planet moves from right to left except when it's in retrograde and proceding in the opposite direction.

The lower chart shows how the appearance of Jupiter changes over the year. Below each image is listed the date, the apparent magnitude, the apparent diameter of the disk (in arc-seconds) and the geocentric distance (in au). Note that Jupiter appears distinctly larger and brighter near the time of opposition.

Jupiter begins the year in the evening sky, slowly moving through the faint background stars of Pisces and Cetus. It has a close pairing with Venus in early March by which time it is getting low to the horizon. Conjunction takes place in April, after which Jupiter moves into the morning sky. By July it is rising around midnight and opposition occurs in November. The Moon occults the gas giant four times between February and May.

1maximum declination south: −0.83°
20perihelion: 4.951 au
261.8° north of the Moon
22lunar occultation: 1.2° north of the Moon (visible from southeastern South America and the Falkland Islands)
2planetary conjunction: 0.9° south of Venus
22lunar occultation: 0.5° north of the Moon (visible from northeastern South America)
262.2° south of the fourth-magnitude star ε Piscium
28planetary conjunction: 1.3° north of Mercury
19lunar occultation: 0.1° south of the Moon (daytime event)
80.6° north of the fourth-magnitude star ο Piscium (Torcular)
17lunar occultation: 0.8° south of the Moon (visible from Mexico and the west coast of North America)
141.5° south of the Moon
112.2° south of the Moon
7west quadrature
82.9° south of the Moon
2129″ north of the sixth-magnitude star σ Arietis
1maximum declination north: +15.14°
43.3° south of the Moon
stationary in ecliptic longitude: direct → retrograde
stationary in right ascension: direct → retrograde
23.4° south of the Moon
293.1° south of the Moon
3opposition: magnitude −2.9, apparent diameter 49.45 arc-seconds
252.8° south of the Moon
222.6° south of the Moon
31stationary in ecliptic longitude: retrograde → direct
stationary in right ascension: retrograde → direct


The dates, times and circumstances of all planetary and lunar phenomena were calculated from the JPL DE406 solar system ephemeris using the same rigorous methods that are employed in the compilation of publications such as The Astronomical Almanac.