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

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 4°08' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 6 days old.

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

From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 19:38 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 20° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 48 minutes after the Sun at 22:07.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.5, and Mars at mag 0.6, both in the constellation Libra.

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 15h14m10s -15°16' Libra -11.5 30'50"6
Mars 15h14m10s -19°24' Libra 0.6 6"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 72° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 31 August 2014
Sunrise
06:07
Sunset
19:20
Twilight ends
21:00
Twilight begins
04:27

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

34%

6 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:48 13:56 20:03
Venus 04:51 11:50 18:49
Moon 12:06 17:12 22:19
Mars 12:29 17:18 22:07
Jupiter 03:42 10:55 18:08
Saturn 12:02 17:08 22:14
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

08 Apr 2014  –  Mars at opposition
22 May 2016  –  Mars at opposition
27 Jul 2018  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition

Image credit

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

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

Color scheme