Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
Mars and NGC6530 will make a close approach, passing within 0°35' of each other.
From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 17° above the horizon. They will become visible around 18:24 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 17° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 7 minutes after the Sun at 20:50.
Mars will be at mag 0.9, and NGC6530 at mag 4.6, both in the constellation Sagittarius.
The pair 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
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|
4 days old
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.
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.