Your Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 4:50  
clear_day Transit: 12:56  
SunsetSet: 21:02 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now
Major Bodies » 

The Moon

The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite and is the fifth-largest satellite in the solar system. It has a diameter of 3,474 kilometers and a mass of 7.34 x 10^22 kilograms, making it about 1/81st the mass of Earth. The Moon's surface is covered in craters, mountains, and plains, with the largest feature being the Imbrium Basin. The Moon has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, which means that it is exposed to the solar wind and cosmic rays. It has a day length of 29.5 Earth days, which is also the length of its orbital period around Earth. The Moon has been used as a celestial body for human exploration and scientific study. The first human landing on the Moon was in 1969 during NASA's Apollo 11 mission, and since then, several missions have been sent to study the Moon's geology, surface features, and potential for future human exploration and colonization.

Today the Moon is in Waxing Gibbous phase and is currently in the constellation of Virgo.

Phase: Waxing Gibbous  Age: 10.32 days
View Moon Position in the Sky

The current Right Ascension of The Moon is 12h 33m 45s and the Declination is -01° 58’ 40” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of The Moon is -11.02 (JPL).

12h 33m 45s
-01° 58’ 40”

Today's rise, transit and set times of The Moon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 92.9°
Max altitude: 34.2°
Azimuth: 270.0°

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

The Moon Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide The Moon finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of Moon in Virgo on May,30 2023
Map showing The Moon in Virgo on May, 30 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of Moon
Map showing The Moon in Virgo on May, 30 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is The Moon?, a page that provides all the information needed to find The Moon in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

The Moon Distance from Earth

The distance of The Moon from Earth is currently 393,617 kilometers, equivalent to 0.002631 Astronomical Units. Light takes 1.3130 seconds to travel from The Moon and arrive to us.

1.3130 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of The Moon from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of The Moon from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth.

Closest Approach of The Moon to Earth

Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of The Moon to Earth happens on Wed Jan 13 2275 at a distance of 0.002382 Astronomical Units, or 356,377 kilometers:

Wed Jan 13 2275

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

The Moon Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of The Moon, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of The Moon as a function of time

The Moon Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of The Moon. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 3474.2 km 0.2727
Mass 0.07342 x 1024 kg 0.0123
Density 3.344 gr/cm3 0.6065
Escape Velocity 2.38 km/s 0.2127
Sideral Rotation 655.7199 hours 27.3965
Absolute Magnitude -12.6
Geometric Albedo 0.136

The Moon 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of The Moon computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate The Moon in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Apparent DiameterDiameter Constellation
2023 May 23 06h 46m 09s +27° 48’ 55” -7.39 1,794.5” Gemini
2023 May 24 07h 40m 23s +26° 37’ 05” -8.10 1,782.4” Gemini
2023 May 25 08h 32m 13s +24° 12’ 47” -8.71 1,774.4” Cancer
2023 May 26 09h 21m 24s +20° 47’ 23” -9.25 1,771.4” Cancer
2023 May 27 10h 08m 03s +16° 32’ 31” -9.72 1,773.8” Leo
2023 May 28 10h 52m 49s +11° 38’ 58” -10.14 1,781.8” Leo
2023 May 29 11h 36m 29s +06° 16’ 24” -10.54 1,795.3” Leo
2023 May 30 12h 20m 03s +00° 34’ 11” -10.91 1,813.8” Virgo
2023 May 31 13h 04m 37s -05° 17’ 30” -11.27 1,836.3” Virgo
2023 Jun 01 13h 51m 20s -11° 06’ 21” -11.63 1,861.6” Virgo
2023 Jun 02 14h 41m 22s -16° 36’ 10” -11.99 1,887.8” Libra
2023 Jun 03 15h 35m 43s -21° 25’ 59” -12.35 1,912.8” Libra
2023 Jun 04 16h 34m 47s -25° 10’ 41” -12.67 1,934.5” Scorpius
2023 Jun 05 17h 38m 04s -27° 24’ 29” -12.47 1,951.0” Ophiucus