Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
Mars and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 0°12' of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:53 (EDT) – 3 hours and 26 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 26° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:31.
Mars will be at mag 1.6, and M44 at mag 3.1, both in the constellation Cancer.
The pair 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 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 38° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.
|The sky on 08 September 2013|
3 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.
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.