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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 4°03' of each other. The Moon will be 7 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will become visible around 19:46 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 21° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 53 minutes after the Sun at 22:20.

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 -11.5; and Mars will be at mag 0.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Libra.

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 15h17m30s -15°24' Libra -11.5 30'52"1
Mars 15h14m20s -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
06:18
Sunset
19:28
Twilight ends
21:06
Twilight begins
04:41

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

35%

6 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:59 14:05 20:12
Venus 05:04 12:00 18:56
Moon 12:13 17:23 22:32
Mars 12:36 17:28 22:20
Jupiter 03:55 11:05 18:15
Saturn 12:09 17:18 22:26
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

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

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EST

Color scheme