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Close approach of Mars and M44

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed

Tags: Appulse
Objects: M44 Mars
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The sky at

Mars and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 0°12' of each other.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:29 (EDT) – 3 hours and 19 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 27° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:02.

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Mars will be at mag 1.6; and M44 will be at mag 3.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mars and M44 around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 08h40m00s +19°28' Cancer 1.6 4"1
M44 08h40m20s +19°40' Cancer 3.1 94'59"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 38° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 08 September 2013
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:49 13:56 20:03
Venus 10:11 15:38 21:05
Moon 10:07 15:34 21:01
Mars 03:28 10:39 17:49
Jupiter 01:43 09:05 16:27
Saturn 10:59 16:22 21:46
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.

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