Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
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.
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.
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|
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|
14 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.
|02 Dec 2012||– Jupiter at opposition|
|05 Jan 2014||– Jupiter at opposition|
|06 Feb 2015||– Jupiter at opposition|
|08 Mar 2016||– Jupiter at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.