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 5°38' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:46 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 18° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 47 minutes after the Sun at 21:15.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.3, and Mars at mag 0.8, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 16h34m50s -17°51' Ophiuchus -11.3 31'12"9
Mars 16h34m50s -23°30' Ophiuchus 0.8 6"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 63° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 29 September 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


5 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:53 14:00 19:07
Venus 06:03 12:11 18:20
Moon 11:59 16:53 21:48
Mars 12:15 16:45 21:15
Jupiter 02:16 09:23 16:30
Saturn 10:20 15:23 20:26
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

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.




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