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Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 3°05' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 21:54, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 02:49, 41° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:44, 18° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Mars will be at mag -1.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

They 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.

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

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mars 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
The Moon 13h34m50s -10°09' Virgo -12.6 30'47"9
Mars 13h38m20s -07°11' Virgo -1.0 13"5

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 152° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 18 March 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:04 11:22 16:40
Venus 04:53 10:02 15:10
Moon 21:28 02:05 07:43
Mars 21:07 02:50 08:27
Jupiter 12:22 19:54 03:29
Saturn 23:26 04:35 09:40
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.

Related news

02 Jan 2014  –  Mars at aphelion
08 Apr 2014  –  Mars at opposition
14 Apr 2014  –  Mars at perigee
12 Dec 2014  –  Mars at perihelion

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