Mars and Neptune will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 0°26' to the south of Neptune.
Mars will be at mag 1.2, and Neptune at mag 8.0, both in the constellation Aquarius.
The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Mars and Neptune around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction 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 16° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.
|The sky on 04 February 2013|
24 days old
All times shown in EST.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|24 Aug 2012||– Neptune at opposition|
|21 Feb 2013||– Neptune at solar conjunction|
|26 Aug 2013||– Neptune at opposition|
|23 Feb 2014||– Neptune at solar conjunction|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.