The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Jupiter and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Jupiter and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°47' of each other.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 14° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:31 (EDT) – 1 hour and 55 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 14° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:04.

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Jupiter will be at mag -1.9, and Mars at mag 1.6, both in the constellation Gemini.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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
Jupiter 06h24m50s +23°08' Gemini -1.9 31"8
Mars 06h24m50s +23°55' Gemini 1.6 3"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 23° from the Sun, which is in Cancer at this time of year.

The sky on 22 July 2013
Sunrise
05:26
Sunset
20:13
Twilight ends
22:15
Twilight begins
03:24

14-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

99%

14 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:21 11:38 18:55
Venus 08:01 14:52 21:44
Moon 20:00 00:11 05:08
Mars 03:29 11:08 18:47
Jupiter 03:32 11:07 18:42
Saturn 13:31 18:54 00:21
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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.

Related news

02 Dec 2012  –  Jupiter at opposition
05 Jan 2014  –  Jupiter at opposition
06 Feb 2015  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 Mar 2016  –  Jupiter at opposition

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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