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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°19' of each other. The Moon will be 15 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 19:42 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 12° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:20, 43° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 05:20, when they sink below 8° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.6; and Mars will be at mag -1.4. 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 13h00m20s -07°34' Virgo -12.6 30'48"7
Mars 13h04m20s -04°23' Virgo -1.4 15"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 172° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 14 April 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

15-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:48 12:03 18:17
Venus 04:26 09:58 15:30
Moon 19:08 00:38 05:34
Mars 18:29 00:21 06:08
Jupiter 10:33 18:08 01:47
Saturn 21:28 02:35 07:39
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

14 Apr 2014  –  Mars at perigee
12 Dec 2014  –  Mars at perihelion
14 Jun 2015  –  Mars at solar conjunction
11 Jul 2015  –  Mars at apogee

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