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

Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 at17:23 EST(1132 days ago)
22:23 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 2°59' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Newark (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 22:49, when they rise 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:43, 41° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 06:27, 28° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.4, and Mars at mag -0.2, both in the constellation Virgo.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 the Moon 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 Moon 13h40m00s -10°38' Virgo -12.4 30'43"3
Mars 13h43m20s -07°45' Virgo -0.2 10"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 123° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 19 February 2014
Sunrise: 06:44
Sunset: 17:34
from 05:13
until 19:06

20-day old moon
Age of Moon:
20 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:07 11:33 16:59
Venus 04:16 09:19 14:23
Moon 22:35 03:10 08:45
Mars 22:03 03:42 09:19
Jupiter 13:12 20:43 04:17
Saturn 00:19 05:24 10:29


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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Image credit

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




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