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Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 2°58' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 12 days old.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:18 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 39° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:11, 46° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 03:22, when they sink below 8° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.5, and Mars at mag -0.9, 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 conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 12h35m50s -05°36' Virgo -12.5 30'40"5
Mars 12h35m50s -02°38' Virgo -0.9 13"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 139° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 11 May 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

12-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


12 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:24 13:58 21:31
Venus 04:04 10:14 16:25
Moon 17:00 22:37 03:42
Mars 16:16 22:10 04:09
Jupiter 09:18 16:47 00:20
Saturn 19:38 00:50 05:58
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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