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Close approach of Mars and NGC 6530

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Mars and NGC6530 will make a close approach, passing within 0°35' of each other.

From Seattle, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 13° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:44 (PST) as the dusk sky fades, 13° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 56 minutes after the Sun at 20:55.

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

Mars will be at mag 0.9; and NGC6530 will be at mag 4.6. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mars and NGC6530 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
Mars 18h04m30s -24°56' Sagittarius 0.9 5"6
NGC6530 18h04m30s -24°21' Sagittarius 4.6 15'00"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 56° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 27 October 2014
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:10 11:51 17:32
Venus 07:48 12:57 18:06
Moon 11:41 16:18 20:56
Mars 12:47 16:49 20:51
Jupiter 01:01 08:16 15:30
Saturn 09:24 14:11 18:58
All times shown in PDT.


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.

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