Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 2°12' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.
From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will become visible around 19:51 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 18° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 14 minutes after the Sun at 21:45.
The Moon will be at mag -11.2, and Mars at mag 1.2, both in the constellation Virgo.
The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mars around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 59° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.
|The sky on 22 August 2012|
5 days old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.
|03 Mar 2012||– Mars at opposition|
|08 Apr 2014||– Mars at opposition|
|22 May 2016||– Mars at opposition|
|27 Jul 2018||– Mars at opposition|