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

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 12.2 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 9 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will become visible around 20:59 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 38° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 01:08.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -11.9; and Mars will be at mag 0.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

They 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.

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 13h14m00s -08°15' Virgo -11.9 30'30"8
Mars 13h13m50s -08°27' Virgo 0.1 9"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 96° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 05 July 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


8 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:46 11:55 19:04
Venus 03:52 11:09 18:26
Moon 13:47 19:25 00:31
Mars 13:53 19:29 01:07
Jupiter 06:58 14:14 21:30
Saturn 16:00 21:14 02:33
All times shown in EDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

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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